Homeless woman's child neglect charge dismissed

Nov. 8—NEOSHO, Mo. — The Newton County prosecutor's office Monday dismissed a felony child neglect charge that a homeless woman was facing when she pleaded guilty other reduced charges of stealing.

Cheyenne D.M. Reed, 23, pleaded guilty in Newton County Circuit Court to two misdemeanor counts of stealing and was fined $50 on each count by Judge Christine Rhoades.

The defendant had been facing felony counts of stealing, vehicle tampering and receiving stolen property in addition to the child neglect charge. The prosecutor's office agreed to dismiss the child neglect and tampering counts and reduce the other two felonies to misdemeanors in light of the defendant's compliance with the requirements of Children's Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services.

The child neglect and stolen property case pertained to an arrest Oct. 24, 2021, of the defendant and her boyfriend when a police officer located a vehicle with stolen license plates left running in an alley in the 200 block of Grant Street in Neosho with a 3-year-old child alone and asleep in the back seat.

After learning that the vehicle had been parked there for about an hour and that a man believed to have been in it was last seen going around to the front of the apartment building, police made contact with Montana Duncan and his girlfriend, Reed. They told the officer that they had been there no more than 10 to 20 minutes and that someone else had been driving it, according to a probable-cause affidavit. But the officer arrested them after purportedly smelling methamphetamine on Duncan and ascertaining that the child was theirs.

Reed and Duncan were arrested in January in connection with the theft of a mini bike and log splitter from Lowe's Home Improvement Store in Neosho and again in February in connection with a stolen vehicle found abandoned at the intersection of U.S. Highway 60 and High Street in Neosho.

Duncan still faces felony counts from those alleged crimes and others, including a break-in a year ago of the pro shop at the Neosho Municipal Golf Course.