Woman charged with child abuse pleads guilty

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Mug shots of: Katherine Kost, Dessa A. Barton, William McLendon, and Richard Hilliker

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A woman accused of multiple charges involving child abuse and endangerment out of stone county has pleaded guilty.

Dessa Barton is one of four people being charged after a four-year-old boy was found unresponsive and in critical condition in November of 2020.


The Stone County Sheriff said the boy suffered various injuries consistent with physical abuse…As well as extreme malnutrition.

Detectives found a wooden crate made of pallets at the home where they believe the child was caged for extended periods of time.


Barton is scheduled for a sentencing hearing on March 7th

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