Judge refuses request from woman convicted of child abuse to withdraw guilty pleas

A Casper judge decided Monday not to allow a woman sentenced to prison in May for aggravated child abuse to withdraw her guilty pleas.

Stephanie Shirts claimed her attorney provided ineffective counsel by inaccurately informing her of her appeal rights.

Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking sided with Shirts’ former lawyer, Sarah Jacobs, who said she had informed her client that she would not be able to appeal previous court decisions after pleading guilty.

Shirts rolled a hot saucepan on a 14-month-old girl’s face in September 2014 and shook the baby with enough force to require trauma care.

She also suffocated the infant with a blanket because the child wouldn’t stop crying.

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