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Burnett

A Muskogee mother accused of maiming her 4-month-old son is expected to plead guilty to the charge Monday.

As part of the proposed plea deal, Melinda Burnett, 18, is expected to testify for the state against the child’s father, Harley Scott, 16. Felony charges filed against Scott were dismissed in June because the evidence against him — Burnett’s statements to police — was ruled inadmissible hearsay.

Stuart Ericson, Burnett’s lawyer, said he anticipates his client will serve time as a youthful offender in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

“She, of course, is ready to turn her life around,” Ericson said. “Nobody is perfect: People make mistakes, and she’s ready to make the necessary changes with her life.”

Assistant District Attorney Kristin Littlefield said under the plea deal being offered by the state, Burnett would be sentenced to seven years as a youthful offender.

If Burnett accepts the deal, she would be placed in the custody — or under the supervision — of the Office of Juvenile Affairs and required to complete a rehabilitation plan.

Burnett could then be held by the Office of Juvenile Affairs until she turns 19, at which time she would be released or be bridged over into the adult prison system. Placement beyond a defendant’s 19th birthday depends upon the outcome of the offender’s treatment, rehabilitation and behavior.

Littlefield confirmed the plea deal Burnett is expected to accept Monday would require her to testify against Scott should new charges be filed against him.

Burnett and Scott were charged March 1 after a medical examination of their 4-month-old son exposed a history of alleged abuse dating back to the his birth.

Police said when the child was brought to the hospital in late February, he had a broken arm, elbow, rib, two broken wrists, a bruised skull and severe bruising to both legs.

The child was placed in kinship foster care and is said to be doing well.

Reach D.E. Smoot at 684-2903 or dsmoot@muskogeephoenix.com.

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