Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger announced in a press release last week that Monte Corriel Ashcraft, age 32, of Mexico, Mo., was sentenced by Judge Wesley Dalton of Audrain County to 10 years in prison for Child Abuse with Serious Physical Injury and seven years in prison for Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the First Degree.
The sentences will run concurrent for a total confinement of 10 years. The jury found Ashcraft guilty, after a two-day jury trial May 16-17. The Audrain County jury consisted of nine women and three men.
The jury found that Ashcraft abused a three-month-old baby by breaking his forearm and ribs, and by failing to feed the child, resulting in the baby boy being underweight and malnourished.
“Monte Ashcraft was supposed to protect and nurture this helpless child, and he failed to do that,” Shellabarger said.
“Ashcraft and the baby’s mother failed to feed the baby an adequate amount of formula- an average of three bottles a day, if that- during the first three months of his life, crucial to development. They lied to their pediatrician, and by three months of age, he was seriously malnourished. Ashcraft broke the baby’s arm by picking him up by the arm, and failed to seek medical treatment for the baby’s injuries, repeatedly injuring and re-injuring the baby over a three-day period. The baby’s ribs were also broken in a pattern consistent with being squeezed with a lot of force. He looked to blame others for his actions, and took no responsibility, always looking for someone or something to blame for his abusive, painful actions, which caused this baby to suffer excruciating pain from the broken ribs and broken forearm.”
“Judge Dalton’s firm, fair sentence sends a clear message to abusers: we will find you, we will thoroughly investigate your case, and you will be prosecuted fully, fairly, and without hesitation, and when your case is done, you’re going to prison for hurting a child,” Shellabarger added. “Fortunately, this child is now in a safe home with a loving, caring family and is protected from being hurt from Mr. Ashcraft ever again. The multidisciplinary team cooperative approach to working child abuse and neglect cases yields better results for victims.
This case brought together the Mexico Public Safety Department, Audrain County Children’s Division, Missouri State Technical Assistance Team from the Department of Health and Senior Services, University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Audrain, Audrain County Children’s Division, local pediatricians, and my office to provide a clear, consistent and thorough investigation and prosecution.
It is the team concept of experience and knowledge that allowed justice to prevail for this family. I particularly wish to recognize Detective S.J. Thompson of Mexico Public Safety for his exceptional dedication, dogged pursuit of the truth and discovery of evidence vital to the jury‘s decision, and professionalism throughout this challenging case.”