BLACKBURN WOMAN CHARGED WITH ABUSE/NEGLECT OF CHILDREN CHANGES PLEA, SENTENCED TO PROBATION

A Blackburn woman who was charged with felonies for allegedly abusing and/or neglecting her children earlier this year changed her plea in court earlier this week.

Online court documents say Sarah A. McMahan, who was facing two counts of a Class D Felony for Abuse or Neglect of a Child, reportedly withdrew her plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty as charged on October 10 at Saline County Circuit Court in Marshall.

The charges arose as, according to a probable-cause statement, on February 3, the Saline County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Saline County Children’s Division in reference to a child-abuse hotline report. The information received reportedly indicated that two children were taken to the Live Well Clinic in Waverly, where it was discovered they had multiple bruises on their body.

Medical staff at the clinic reported that the children’s mother, McMahan, reportedly admitted she struck one of the children with a paddle hard enough to leave a bruise. On February 7, the children reportedly were examined by personnel at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, who determined the bruises suffered by the children were consistent with child abuse. Medical staff also said McMahan reportedly would place the children in a high chair and lock them in the bathroom so she could not hear them, as well as sometimes place them in a play area or “cage” as a form of punishment.

The judge in the case reportedly agreed with the state’s recommendation, suspended the imposition of sentencing and placed McMahan on five years of probation under the supervision of probation and parole.