Preliminary hearing set in child abuse case

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A 43-year-old babysitter charged with felony child abuse was arraigned in Circuit Court Monday in Jackson. A preliminary hearing was set for May 5 at 2 p.m.

Karen Byrum was charged last week after a Cape Girardeau couple alleged she beat their 4-month-old daughter, Chloe, while baby-sitting.

Jeffrey and Wendy Street allege that they rushed Chloe to the hospital after discovering bruises on the baby's abdomen, buttocks and legs.

A Cape Girardeau police officer interviewed the couple and Byrum and filed a probable cause statement for Byrum's arrest. In it the babysitter confessed to striking the baby because Chloe was fussy but says it was not hard enough to cause bruises. The alleged incident took place the night of April 1.

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