Child Abuse Plea Entered

29-year-old Melanie S. Powell will be sentenced January 20th on a Class I Misdemeanor conviction of child endangerment.

The Cassgram reports that a plea agreement resulted in a Class IIIA Felony child abuse charge being amended to the misdemeanor. The prosecution and defense have agreed to make a joint recommendation for probation.

A Class IIIA Felony charge is still on the books against Powell’s former live-in boyfriend, 30-year-old Brian Bowder, in connection with the same incident. Court documents show a plea agreement is pending in his case. Powell and Bowder had resided in Greenwood.

Both were arrested in June after Cass County authorities were notified by hospital personnel about bite marks and bruising on their four-month-old daughter.

"Miss Powell did not commit the abuse," said Deputy Cass County Attorney Paul Sullivan, but is at fault for leaving the child in the care of Bowder knowing the child might be at risk. If there had been a trial in Powell’s case, Sullivan told the court that a dentist with a forensic background would have testified that Bowder was most likely the individual who bit the child in a symmetrical pattern over her body.

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