After pleading guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated battery to a child under 13, a 20-year-old Centralia woman was sentenced to 30 months probation for failing to stop her infant son’s 21-year-old father from harming the child last
Margaret Overstreet was initially charged with the same Class X felony as the child’s father Blake Cook. Cook pleaded guilty in October to aggravated battery that caused permanent brain injuries to the infant and was sentenced to 15-years in prison.
Overstreet, however, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a reduced charge, and was yesterday sentenced to 30-months probation for failing to protect the baby from harm.
During a Thursday sentencing hearing, Marion County Resident Judge Mark Stedelin said Overstreet had a “moral and legal obligation” to defend the child from harm, and that she had several opportunities to report the abuse before her arrest.
But he said Overstreet was also a victim, as she was also being abused by Cook and feared what he would do to her if she went to police.
A history of clinical depression and being a victim of abuse her entire life was further reason for Stedelin to say Overstreet was a victim of “battered woman syndrome, noting the sentencing would provide her opportunity to get her life on the right path.