Child abuse trial delayed a month

Saturday, December 22, 2001

Linda Gibbs looked over a flyer describing her missing husband, Walter Gibbs, who disappeared Southeast Missourian

NEW MADRID, Mo. -- A jury trial for Jennifer Schwepker was postponed until Jan. 22.

Schwepker, 24, is charged with two counts of domestic assault and one count each of child abuse and child endangerment.

The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 28 years.

She is accused of kicking her then 11-year-old stepson in the groin, shoving him into a cabinet hard enough to split his head open -- a wound which required staple sutures -- and on another occasion, grabbing him by the throat.

On Sept. 21 a jury in Hillsboro, Mo., found the boy's father, Eric Schwepker, guilty of abuse including spanking him with a baseball bat and taking a claw hammer to his toes. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The boy, now 12, lives with his maternal grandparents.

Eric and Jennifer Schwepker had a baby girl in October.

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