Mother convicted of child abuse

Sierra Shepherd being led to the courthouse for a pretrial conference earlier this year.
Sierra Shepherd being led to the courthouse for a pretrial conference earlier this year.

A year after her two-year-old son sustained severe burns, Sierra Shepherd was sentenced Friday, Nov. 6, for one charge of child abuse.

Shepherd, 23, of Flat Lick, was arrested in September 2014, when her then two-year-old son suffered severe burns on his legs. The child sustained the injuries while in the care of Shepherd’s boyfriend, Tyrone Persons, 23, of Corbin. Shepherd took the child to Baptist Health Corbin. Both Persons and Shepherd were later taken into custody and charged with first degree criminal abuse and first degree assault.

Both Persons and Shepherd initially entered a not-guilty plea, but later changed their pleas to guilty.

Shepherd pled guilty to count one of the indictment, criminal abuse.

During Friday’s formal sentencing, Shepherd’s attorney asked the court to take into consideration that Shepherd had a clean criminal record prior to the incident, and that it was Shepherd who took the child to receive medical attention, despite threats from Mr. Persons.

Circuit Judge Thomas Jensen accepted the Commonwealth’s recommended sentence. Shepherd received five years confinement and must pay $130 for court costs after her release.

Upon handing down the sentence, Judge Jensen reminded Shepherd to be alert, as she may be eligible for parole soon.

Jude Jensen concluded, “I wish you the best, Mrs. Shepherd. I’m sorry this happened, and I’m sure you’re sorry as well.”

In October of this year, Tyrone Persons was sentenced to a total of 15 years.