Child Abuse Plea Agreement

30-year-old Brian Bowder entered a no contest plea to child abuse; a Class IIIA Felony.

The Cassgram reports that Bowder, who had resided in Greenwood when the abuse occurred, entered the plea with the prosecution’s agreement that he would not face charges for abuse involving another child at about the same time.

Another part of the agreement is that the prosecution remain silent at sentencing. Felony child abuse is the charge he originally faced when a warrant was issued for his arrest in mid-June. He turned himself in to authorities about a week after the issuance.

The warrants for Bowder and 29-year-old Melanie Powell were filed after Cass County authorities were notified by hospital personnel about abuse to their then-four-month-old daughter. Powell had taken an older child to the doctor. The doctor noticed the bite marks and bruising on the four-month-old and said the younger child should be taken to the hospital, according to court testimony.

In establishing the factual basis, Deputy Cass County Attorney Steve Sunde said Bowder became "impatient" with the child’s crying and then bit, hit, pinched and squeezed the girl. Sunde began to describe in detail the many locations on the child’s body where the abuse had occurred when defense attorney David Watermeier interrupted and said there was already enough information given to establish the factual basis. Watermeier argued the plea agreement hinged on the state remaining silent at sentencing and said Sunde’s detailed discourse was not in keeping with the agreement.

Sentencing is February 2nd. The conviction carries up to a $10,000 fine, five years in prison, or both. Bowder remains free on bond.

Powell will be sentenced January 20th for a Class I Misdemeanor. Part of the plea agreement is that the prosecution and defense will recommend probation for Powell.


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