Woman found guilty of abuse of special needs child

·1 min read

Jul. 28—ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County Superior Court this month sentenced Whitney Kaenna Steen to prison for the charge of child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury.

Steen was arrested in September 2015 on the child abuse charge and attempted first-degree murder in connection to a toddler being found unconscious in a Cordova residence on Aug. 30, 2015, the Daily Journal reported at the time.

The trial went on for more than a week before the jury returned the guilty verdict. The case was tried by Assistant District Attorneys Tracy Grimes and Michael Van Buren. Detective David Wall and Detective Mitchel Watson of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office investigated the case, which involved abuse of a then-21-month-old child with special needs.

Judge Stephan Futrell sentenced Steen to a minimum of 150 months in prison and a maximum of 192 months.

"My office is committed to protecting and being the voice for the most vulnerable among us," said District Attorney Reece Saunders. "This prosecution was a team effort and could not have succeeded without the assistance of the Richmond County Sheriff's [Office], Richmond County Department of Social Services and the University of North Carolina BEACON Program."

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