Woman pleads guilty in starvation of Joplin child

A Joplin woman has pleaded guilty for her role in the starvation of the girl who weighed only 12 pounds when she was hospitalized at age 3.

Christina Haidle, 28, pleaded guilty Monday to felony child abuse in a plea deal that drops two other charges. Haidle lived with Beth Williams, 28, the girl's mother, who pleaded guilty last month to the same charge under a similar plea deal.

Prosecutors said when the girl was taken to a Joplin hospital in July 2012, she was unconscious, with a blood sugar level of zero and a pulse so faint that hospital workers had to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation, The Joplin Globe reported.

Haidle's plea agreement requires her to serve a minimum of five years before becoming eligible for parole. Haidle will be sentenced Feb. 10. Williams is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 18. Circuit Judge David Dally on Monday ordered a sentencing-assessment report for Haidle.

Both women have remained in custody since their arrests in July 2012.

A doctor who cared for the girl throughout the first year of her life testified at a preliminary hearing last year that she became concerned about the child when she weighed only 17.6 pounds at her one-year checkup. The mother then stopped keeping regular appointments with the doctor.

The doctor testified that two months after being taken from the women's home, the girl had grown 2 inches and gained 15 pounds.