Trial begins today in child abuse case

Thursday, September 20, 2001

HILLSBORO, Mo. -- A jury trial for Eric Schwepker begins today on four felony charges of child abuse.

Schwepker, 30, of Cape Girardeau County is accused of severely beating his 12-year-old son. He has pleaded innocent to all charges.

He faces a maximum sentence of 28 years in prison if convicted of all four charges.

The trial, scheduled for two days, is set before a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge since it was moved from Cape Girardeau County on a change of venue.

Schwepker and his wife, Jennifer, were arrested in early February after his injured son was found wandering along a county road.

Following the arrest, Cape Girardeau County sheriff's investigators said Schwepker had kicked the boy, smashed his toes with a claw hammer and struck him with both a belt and a baseball bat.

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