Prosecutors Want Tulsa Woman, Convicted Of Child Abuse, Back Behind Bars
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa woman, convicted of hurting two children at separate daycares, served ten months in prison before being sent to a ranch in Arizona.
Now, she's been kicked out of the ranch and prosecutors want her sent back to prison.
The ranch kicked Meredith Howard out of the program because they said she was aggressive, violent toward others and refused to take her medication.
1/27/2014 Related Story: Tulsa Woman Convicted Of Child Abuse Freed 10 Months Into 12-Year Prison Term
Matthew Stafford's daughter was Howard's second child abuse victim.
"I came to tears just watching her get handcuffed and taken away," he said.
Howard had already broken the leg of a 2-year-old boy, but got hired at another daycare where she hurt Stafford's daughter so badly that the little girl needed three surgeries.
"She's shown she's violent and a menace to society and needs to be locked up," Stafford said.
A judge sentenced Howard to 12 years in prison for the two child abuse cases, but she only served ten months and the judge ordered her to go a residential treatment facility for two years.
Howard went to Rainbow Acres in Arizona, a place for non-violent offenders, but the ranch said she went into the rooms of other residents and staff and took things that didn't belong to her.
Rainbow Acres said she threw temper tantrums, kicked and broke things, refused to take her medicine and when she was told to clean the bathrooms, she made them messier.
Assistant District Attorney, Sarah McAmis said, "This is exactly what we predicted, exactly what we were concerned about. She is a danger to our community."
Howard's attorney, Allen Smallwood, has always argued that she has the mental and emotional capacity of a 9 or 10 year old.
"She doesn't have the ability to look down the road and recognize consequences, good or bad, of her actions," he said.
Prosecutors argue if Howard can hold down a job, she can be punished for her crimes.
They want her probation revoked and Howard sent to prison where she'd have to serve 85 percent of her sentence.
Howard's attorney said prison is not the place for Howard, but also said staying with her family is not an option.
The judge said she had no choice but to send Howard to jail, in a segregated, medical unit until the judge can sort out the case.
She's holding Howard without bond.