29-year-old Melanie S. Powell was placed on probation in a child abuse case. Powell, now of Ashland, had lived in Greenwood with her boyfriend Brian Bowder last summer when bruises and bite marks were found on their 4-month-old daughter during a visit to the doctor. Both were charged with felony child abuse.
The Cassgram reports that Powell’s charge was dropped to a Class I Misdemeanor in a plea agreement. The prosecution agreed to recommend probation.
It was determined the 30-year-old Bowder was responsible for the physical abuse. He has pleaded guilty to felony child abuse and will be sentenced February 2nd.
Before sentencing Powell to 24 months probation, Cass County District Court Judge Randall Rehmeier heard from Powell’s attorney about Powell’s steady employment, attendance at parenting classes and enrollment in counseling. Her two children are in foster care but Powell told the judge visitations are "going well" and she hopes to regain custody in the future. Powell is expecting another child in May.
Although Powell was "indirectly" responsible and "should have known the situation was occurring," Rehmeier said the probation was granted to assist Powell in getting back "to where she can be a mother to her children."