CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A 21-year-old St. Louis County woman faces sentencing in July after pleading guilty to child endangerment for placing her newborn baby under a tree in a stranger's yard.
KSDK-TV reports that Kaitlin Norton pleaded guilty in St. Louis Circuit Court. She was arrested last year, days after the child was found outside of a home in Ellisville.
A woman looked out her window and saw a bundle in a blanket, thinking at first it might be a litter of puppies. It was Norton's child. Norton had given birth to the baby in the basement of her boyfriend's home.
Norton turned herself in after she was treated at a hospital following the birth.
Forty-nine-year-old Paul Potter of Kirksville will be arraigned April 2 on first-degree murder and other charges in the January death of 74-year-old Willis Edward Meredith.
Prosecutors say Potter stabbed Meredith, dismembered his body and set fires to conceal the crime. He also allegedly threw the victim's arms at witnesses shortly before he was arrested.
Potter waived his preliminary hearing last Thursday, sending the case to the Adair County Circuit Court.
The Kirksville Daily Express reports that a court order prevents attorneys from discussing the case with the media.
The Southeast Missourian reports that 22-year-old Kenneth Bell of Cape Girardeau entered the plea at a hearing Monday.
Bell is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Shannon James and Misty Cole. Both were shot to death Feb. 7 inside their apartment.
The next court appearance for Bell is April 18.
Witnesses told police that a confrontation began when James bumped into Bell on a sidewalk. Moments later, James and Cole were shot several times.
Martha Farris, of Pilot Knob, entered an Alford plea Wednesday to first-degree involuntary manslaughter in the death of 3-month-old Sam Pratt. The plea is not an admission of guilt, but acknowledges that prosecutors have sufficient evidence to gain a conviction. Attorney General Chris Koster's office prosecuted the case in Iron County. Koster's office says an autopsy showed that Sam died of non-accidental head trauma.
The attorney general says Farris told investigators she swung the baby, "plunked" him down hard on a couch and elbowed him in the head. The case prompted legislation limiting the ability of Missouri child care centers to continue operating while charges are pending.