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Scott City woman pleads guilty to child abuse charges
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- A Scott City woman has pleaded guilty to felony charges for locking her children outside the house for hours while they were at work.
Melissa Sparks pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of child abuse on a change of venue in Mississippi County. She received two concurrent sentences of five years probation, and will serve five years in prison if probation is violated.
Her husband Kevin Sparks pleaded guilty in March to one count of child endangerment in Scott County court. He also received five years of supervised probation.
Both were originally charged with 10 counts of child endangerment, and Melissa Sparks was also charged with two counts of felony child abuse.
Authorities said sheriff's deputies visiting the residence after a call was made to the Division of Family Services found two children, ages 10 and 13, alone outside the residence with no food, water only from a spigot and no restroom in June 2011. Authorities also reportedly found signs of abuse on one of the children.