SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A new trial date has been set for a mother and daughter charged with child abuse and endangerment after the death of an infant in their care at a child-care center.
Danielle Gerdes and her mother Cheri Beason are to stand trial beginning Jan. 9, 2024, each on 17 counts of abuse or neglect of a child and 17 charges of endangering the welfare of a child creating substantial risk. All are felony charges.
Original article, published July 26, 2022:
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Greene County judge urged legal counsel for Danielle Gerdes, accused in the death of an infant at her family’s unlicensed in-home daycare in 2017, to move toward a conclusion after Defense Attorney Tad Morlan requested to postpone a pre-trial conference yet again.
Court documents say Danielle Gerdes was the single person left at Books & Blocks Child Care to care for 25 minors the day that 4-month-old Brynlee Jones died on Aug. 10, 2017.
Tuesday, Judge Thomas Mountjoy acknowledged how old the criminal case is — asking Morlan to be ready to move toward setting a jury trial or disposition date at the next court appearance now set for Sept. 27.
Gerdes and her mother Cheri Beason each face 34 Class D felony counts of child abuse or neglect or endangering the welfare of a child. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Unlicensed daycares are legal in Missouri, though Missouri law at that time dictated only four unrelated kids could be legally cared for at once.
Beason’s pre-trial conference is set for Nov. 3 and a jury trial is scheduled a few days later on for Nov. 7.