Mom, stepdad plead guilty in Perry County boy's 2005 death

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 | 12:17 p.m. CST

ROLLA — The mother and stepfather of a 4-year-old southeast Missouri boy who died of an infection pleaded guilty to three felonies.

Emily Altom and Michael Altom on Monday entered guilty pleas to three counts of felony child endangerment in Phelps County District Court.

Voluntary manslaughter charges alleging the couple was medically negligent in the death of Ethan Patrick Williams will be dropped at sentencing on March 16.

Ethan was hospitalized for 25 days with a virulent bacteria that invaded his leg bone, blood and lungs. He died on Aug. 25, 2005.

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

The felonies each carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison. Judge Tracy Storie warned the Altoms he is not bound by prosecuting attorney Thomas Hoeh's recommendation for probation.


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