2 plead guilty to felonies in southeast Missouri boy's death

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 | 4:42 p.m. CST; updated 5:02 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CAPE GIRARDEAU — A report says the mother and stepfather of a 4-year-old southeast Missouri boy who died from an infection in 2005 will plead guilty to three felonies.

The Web site for the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau reported Tuesday that Emily Altom and Michael Altom are scheduled to enter guilty pleas on child endangerment charges on Friday. The newspaper says voluntary manslaughter charges alleging the couple was medically negligent in the death of Ethan Patrick Williams will be dropped.

Ethan was treated for 25 days at a St. Louis hospital before dying on Aug. 25, 2005. He suffered from a virulent bacteria that invaded his leg bone, blood and lungs.

Authorities cited filth at the couple's rural Perry County mobile home as the reason for filing charges.

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