Kansas woman convicted in death of 4-year-old

prison bars

HIAWATHA, Kan. (AP) — A northeast Kansas woman has been convicted in last year’s beating death of her boyfriend’s 4-year-old son.

30-year-old Janice Summerford entered Alford pleas Friday to second-degree murder, child abuse and interfering with law enforcement. An Alford plea does not admit guilt but acknowledges that prosecutors can likely prove the charges.

Summerford, of Hiawatha, had been facing trial next month for the death of Mekhi Boone in March 2013.

She was initially charged with aiding and abetting a death, but Brown County prosecutors upgraded the charge to first-degree murder after learning Summerford was the child’s primary caregiver.

Mekhi’s father, Lee Davis IV, was convicted earlier of second-degree murder and felony child abuse and sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison.

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