Tribune-Courier News Reporter
Shannon Boss, 22, of Calvert City, and Andrea Wagers, 21, of Benton, pleaded guilty last Wednesday in Marshall County District Court to amended charges of second-degree wanton endangerment.
Originally the couple had been charged with second-degree criminal abuse of a child 12 or under – a class D felony.
The charges stemmed from an incident on Nov. 21, in which Kentucky State Police arrested Boss and Wagers for the possible abuse of their 2-month-old infant son.
Assistant County Attorney Lisa Carter said the charges were amended because there had been no permanent injury to the child.
“The baby was put in danger because of their actions toward each other and not toward the child,” she said.
District Judge Jack Telle accepted the pleas of both Boss and Wagers – who were represented separately – suspending a six-month jail sentence pending their cooperation with the terms of the conditional discharge.
For two years the couple is to have no contact with each other or the child, must not violate any laws, are to be subject to random drug screening and must cooperate with the Cabinet of Health and Family Services in family court regarding any matters relating to the charges.
Carter said the prosecution had carefully considered the charges before offering the deal, but determined the original charge was too harsh.
“The Commonwealth has had a lot of assistance in this,” she said. “We’ve had social workers and the Kentucky State Police. They’ve been along with us in all decision-making and they’ve done a full investigation. The case has already been continued to ensure the health of the child and everyone is in agreement on the offer.”
Carter said the prosecution had also questioned doctors from multiple hospitals asking them to review the physical evidence.
She said there had been no signs of permanent injury or broken bones as previously suspected.
Carter said, “We’re satisfied that this is justice and that the parents have stepped forward and taken responsibility for any actions they had in regard to this.”