Mom Asks to Withdraw Plea in Death of Son Found in Backpack

The mother of a 1-year-old Maryland boy found dead inside a backpack in an Ohio creek has asked to withdraw her guilty plea, arguing she suffered from battered woman syndrome.

Dainesha Stevens pleaded guilty in March to involuntary manslaughter and evidence tampering in the 2014 death of her son, Cameron Beckford.

At the time, Stevens' attorney said she wanted to take responsibility for not taking action when a friend of hers beat the child.

That man, Kurt Flood, has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder, evidence tampering and corpse abuse.

Stevens filed a motion to withdraw the plea Tuesday, saying domestic violence she suffered in Maryland wasn't properly investigated before she pleaded guilty.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien says Stevens has changed her mind after similar previous requests.

Prosecutors say Flood apparently believed the boy, Cameron Beckford, had demons and beat the toddler to get rid of them. Stevens had stayed with Flood at a home near where Cameron's body was found Dec. 31.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Stevens brought Cameron and his 6-year-old sister to Columbus from Frederick, Maryland on Dec. 15.

The father of the two children later called police and reported that their mother had taken them to an unknown location in Columbus in mid-December. Based on the father's concerns, missing-child reports were issued.

Stevens initially told investigators that she left Cameron on the porch of a stranger, but her attorney later said she made that story up.

Stevens later pointed police to the creek where Cameron's body was found.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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