KINGMAN - A 31-year-old mother of eight children - now all wards of the state - is expected to be sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to child abuse by domestic violence.
Meredith Baker pleaded guilty pursuant to Alford, which is similar to a no contest plea, as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. Her husband and father of seven of the children, Scott L. Baker, is charged with the same offense.
Court records offer conflicting dates as to when the couple was first investigated. Child Protective Services were contacted earlier this year after a 4-year-old girl was nearly hit by a car while wandering alone in the street. Officials who were investigating that incident said they found the Baker's home to be in deplorable condition and infested with bugs.
Police reports say the 4-year-old girl was still in diapers and drinking out of a bottle. Two younger children were said to be confined to a crib and playpen.
Prosecutor Megan McCoy said in court Friday that a 1-year-old boy in the home was found to be malnourished and significantly behind in developmental markers and was neither walking nor eating solid foods.
Since being removed from his parents' custody, McCoy said the boy has made significant gains both in his physical and mental development.
It's not clear if it is the same boy, but court records indicate that Baker gave birth in July, 2010 to a baby who tested positive for methamphetamine.
Details on the other children were not available.
Baker, who is suffering from renal failure, will be formally sentenced Dec. 12. Scott Baker's case is still pending.