JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin mother 25-year-old Celia Lara-Licon has been dealt the maximum sentence under her plea deal — 25 years in prison for abusing, assaulting and neglecting her 3-year-old daughter, as ordered on Tuesday in Jasper County Circuit Court by Judge Gayle Crane.
On March 4 of last year, Lara-Licon brought her daughter to a local hospital with complaints that the child was vomiting. During the examination, medical professionals found bruising across the child’s face, that the child was lethargic and severely dehydrated. The child was non-verbal and did not have the strength to hold a sippy cup.
A probable cause affidavit states that the child, weighing only 25 pounds, needed dialysis due to kidney failure.
X-rays detected nine fractures, healed and in the process of healing, throughout her body that indicated chronic violence. The fractures were found on the child’s arms, legs, clavicle and two ribs.
Lara-Licon told investigators that she was responsible for her daughter’s abuse over the preceding 18 months. She confessed that she would hit and jerk the child about by her arms when frustrated.