ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A Wentzville babysitter will not spend a day behind bars after an infant died in her care.
Kelly Schneeberger, 42, got a plea deal with probation Tuesday morning in a St. Charles County courtroom.
Byron Matlock was 6-months-old when he died from traumatic brain injury. He was in the care of Schneeberger at the time. Schneeberger says on October 13, 2016, she accidentally fell on the baby, causing his death. She agreed to a plea deal Tuesday, giving her two years of strict probation.
Darrell Matlock, the infant’s dad, says she got away with murder.
“The judge seemed like it’s no big deal and (the) prosecuting attorney has no care at all for it and our family has been torn apart,” he said.
Schneeberger was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor. The charge only carries a year in prison.
“A criminal negligent standard," said St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar. "In other words, we didn't charge her with acting intentionally or knowingly. Instead, it was because of negligence the death resulted.”
Darrell Matlock says Schneeberger had been their sitter for a year with no problems. He just feels his son has not received justice and he’s angry that Schneeberger changed her story a few times, even accusing Byron’s 2-year-old brother initially.
“I just feel St. Charles County has done a poor job. They are supposed to make people pay and hold them accountable,” said Matlock.
Lohmar says his team looked at all circumstances, including the size of the home and surroundings and made the tough call.
“The defendant herself had some physical limitations, disabilities, so it was clear to us that her version, eventually her version, was most likely accurate,” Lohmar said.
Schneeberger refused to speak, hiding behind an umbrella while leaving court. A friend of her's says the death of Byron is something she thinks about every day.
In addition to getting two years of probation and a year in jail if she violates it, Schneeberger will never again be allowed to work with kids in a professional manner again.
The Matlocks say they continue to struggle daily with the loss of Byron.
Lohmar adds that while he can't imagine losing a child like this, his office did the right thing despite knowing it would not make the family happy.