First of two pleads guilty to malicious punishment of a child

Published 4:36 pm Saturday, January 19, 2013

One of two Austin women accused of making a 9-year-old hold jugs of milk in the air for hours and beating the child with a belt or stick pleaded guilty Friday.

Shavon Melisa Blake, 28, pleaded guilty in Mower County Court to gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child. A charge for misdemeanor domestic assault was dismissed.

Jacqueline Glenda Richardson, 49, still faces two counts of malicious punishment of a child with less than substantial bodily harm. Richardson maintained her not guilty plea on Friday.

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According to the court complaint, an Austin Public Schools teacher told authorities the student was being abused at home. Two parents thought the child was being abused, as well.

Blake reportedly punched the child in the face and in the back several times, according to the victim. The police report states the child told police he or she was frequently told to carry a milk jug around the house, from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. or 1 a.m., and the jug was sometimes filled with rotten milk or pop can tops. At times, the child allegedly would have to kneel on the floor and keep two milk jugs in the air.

The victim told police it hurt to hold the jugs for so long, and the child would lose feeling in the arms.

The child mentioned being struck with a belt, spoons, or a stick by Blake, Richardson or Richardson’s boyfriend as punishment. Police photographed a bruise on the victim’s leg, which the victim said was from being hit.

Police interviewed the child’s 8-year-old relative, who told police he or she also has to carry milk jugs at times as punishment as well as a bottle filled with pop can tops. The 8-year-old told police Richardson strikes with a stick if the 8-year-old drops the jugs or the bottle, and that the child prefers being punished with the stick as “the stick is easier than the bottles,” according to the police report.

—Trey Mewes contributed to this report.