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Judge withdraws Jacole Prince’s guilty plea in case of severely malnourished daughter

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Jacole Prince

Jacole Prince in courtKANSAS CITY, Mo. — A judge has set aside a mother’s guilty plea after she contacted him and said she never intended to plead guilty to two of the three felonies she was charged with in connection to the abuse of her daughter.

According to online court records, Circuit Judge John Torrence withdrew 30-year-old Jacole Prince’s guilty plea after she sent him a post card saying she never intended to plead guilty.

In addition to sending a postcard to Torrence, Prince reportedly sent a 42-page letter to the Kansas City Star saying she pleaded guilty only after her public defender Curtis Winegarner forced her to do so. Winegarner has not responded to the Star’s requests for comments.

Prince is the mother of a girl identified in court documents at “LP,” who was discovered severely malnourished in a locked closet surrounded by her own feces in June 2012. The 10-year-old girl weighed just 32 pounds.

On Jan. 7, 2014, Prince pleaded guilty to three felonies connected to the abuse of her daughter. However, Prince wasn’t initially sure she wanted to plead guilty. After a meeting with her lawyers, Prince entered a guilty plea to first-degree assault, abuse of a child and endangering the welfare of a child. In exchange for her guilty pleas, prosecutors agreed not to seek punishment longer than 20 years in prison for all of the counts.

Prince left the courtroom with her lawyers and did not speak to reporters, but in front of a judge she said she suffers from depression and has been treated for depression while in jail. Her lawyer says Prince’s depression is not a defense against the charges.

Prince was scheduled to be sentenced in April.

This is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates.

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13 comments

  • Zarah

    Withdrawing your “Not guilty plea” doesn’t help you honey. How can you not be guilty when YOUR child was in YOUR house and being treated that horribly. And of course you are depressed now! YOU’RE going away for a VERY long time! But YOUR depression cannot be treated with anything other than coming to grips with the truth! YOU’RE A BAD MOTHER! Although an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, I think an exception can be made for you, Jacole Prince…I think you should suffer just as your daughter did!

    • Diane

      To bad our judicial system didn’t do an eye for an eye and they could ration her food the same way she did her daughter. Then maybe she’d feel like what her daughter was going thru. I think that’s the only way she would come to realize what she’d done wrong.

  • JTC

    Is she not an adult and capable of making her own decisions? During guilty pleas the judge asks them several times if that’s their intention..that would be the time to speak up..not afterwards only because she didnt like the sentence that was dealt…the guilty plea should never have been set aside but you can always count on the liberal jackson county judges to hold the criminals hand.

  • Sarah M

    I think it’s great the judge threw out the guilty plea. This way when she is being judge by a jury of her peers then she will get more then 20 years. She won’t have an easy time in prison either. Karma will not be her friend.