Traffic updates: Rush Hour in St. Louis

Joplin man sentenced for abusing his 8-week-old child

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the abuse of his 8-week-old son that left the child legally blind and unable to eat or drink.

The Joplin Globe reports that Jasper County Circuit Judge Gayle Crane sentenced 32-year-old Earl Clark on Monday. Clark pleaded guilty to child abuse in a plea deal for the injuries inflicted on his son, Sebastian.

Emergency medical help was summoned to Clark’s residence in September 2017 for a baby suffering seizures and respiratory distress. An affidavit says Sebastian showed signs of abusive head trauma and was later found to have extensive brain bleeding and other injuries.

An affidavit says Clark admitted that he dropped and shook his son.

Assistant Prosecutor Kimberly Fisher says Sebastian is expected to survive but won’t be able to eat or drink on his own.