Mom isn't dropping guilty plea in death of boy found in bag

AP News
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Posted: Dec 31, 2015 10:18 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The mother of a 1-year-old Maryland boy found dead inside a backpack in a central Ohio creek is no longer trying to withdraw her guilty plea.

Dainesha Stevens pleaded guilty in March to involuntary manslaughter and evidence-tampering in her son's 2014 death. Her attorney said then that Stevens wanted to take responsibility for not taking action when her friend beat the child, Cameron Beckford.

Without notifying her attorney, Stevens, 25, later filed twice to withdraw her plea. In her second filing, earlier this month, she said domestic violence she suffered in Maryland wasn't properly investigated before she pleaded guilty.

But in an affidavit filed Tuesday, Stevens now says she's changed her mind about withdrawing her plea after talking with her attorney and learning more about waiting for sentencing until a co-defendant's case is resolved.

A Franklin County judge accepted her decision Wednesday.

Kurt Flood, 25, of Columbus, the man accused of hurting the child, has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder, evidence tampering and corpse abuse. His trial has been delayed until Jan. 28 while he undergoes court-ordered competency hearings.

Prosecutors and Stevens' attorney say Flood thought Cameron had demons and beat him to get rid of them.

Flood was charged after Cameron's mother pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and agreed to cooperate. She had stayed with Flood at a home near where Cameron's body was found in a creek on New Year's Eve.

After Stevens was arrested, a police charging document said she failed to protect her son "by allowing an individual to violently spank him numerous times on several occasions."