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A Park Hills woman originally charged with felony A abuse or neglect of a child was sentenced Friday.

According to court officials, Mikala Boyce-Slezak, 23, of Park Hills, appeared before Circuit Court Judge Jerel Poor on Friday morning and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of class D felony child endangerment. 

Judge Poor sentenced Boyce-Slezak to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The plea agreement requires Mikala Boyce-Slezak to testify truthfully against Derick Boyce-Slezak who is scheduled to appear for trial on March 12-13 before Circuit Judge Wendy Wexler-Horn.

Prosecuting Attorney Melissa Gilliam said the plea agreement was made before she took office on Jan. 1.

Derick Boyce-Slezak, 23, of Park Hills, and Mikala Boyce-Slezak, also 23, of Park Hills, had each been charged with class A felony abuse or neglect of a child in Nov. 2017. 

The probable cause statement states that during a Nov. 27, 2017 hearing, an investigator with the St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office was present for testimony from Mikala Boyce-Slezak relating to her child’s injuries.

The investigator reported that on April 11, 2017, an infant, who was less than 4 months old at the time, was taken to Cardinal-Glennon Hospital Emergency Room for a rash on his face. The “rash” was determined to be a wound.

The periphery of the wound was determined to be a first-degree burn, with the majority of the wound being a second-degree burn. A superficial second-degree burn was also visible on the front of the infant’s scalp.

C.T. scans showed the infant was also suffering from a "vertical left parietal fracture" of the skull and a small left subdural hematoma. At the hospital, Derick and Mikala Boyce-Slezak claimed the burns were caused by a cleaning agent.

During testimony, the baby's mother claimed that someone had cleaned the infant’s face with a towel that contained a bleach-type disinfectant. When asked about the head injuries and bruising, she invoked her Fifth Amendment right.

The father did not testify.

Then an investigator with the Missouri Children’s Division testified that the baby's mother had previously stated she intended to testify that the head wounds were a result of Derick dropping the infant while trying to imitate what he saw on a television commercial.

The Children’s Division employee also stated in the proceedings that Mikala Boyce-Slezak had claimed she had reason to believe Derick Boyce-Slezak had placed the infant in a microwave and turned it on for a “short period of time.”

Additional testimony revealed the infant had yet another fracture that was later discovered.

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Matt McFarland is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616, or at mmcfarland@dailyjournalonline.com.

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