A woman accused of driving her son to beat up an 11-year-old girl and videotaping the incident accepted a plea agreement


Saturday, August 16th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


Sheila Chapman, 36, entered an Alford plea and received a three-year deferred sentence for permitting child abuse. An assault charge against her and a related charge against her husband, Jeffrey David Chapman, were dismissed.

The plea allowed Sheila Chapman to avoid pleading guilty while admitting that the evidence against her could result in a conviction. Her record can be cleared if she doesn't violate her probation.

Chapman must undergo anger management and parenting classes.

Muskogee County prosecutors accused Chapman of driving her son around Warner while looking for a fifth-grade classmate on Feb. 3. Then, Chapman's son got out of the car and allegedly beat up the girl while his mother videotaped the attack.

The girl, Sierra Barnwell, suffered a broken bone, sprained neck and various bruises, her mother, Heather Barnwell, said Friday. Barnwell said she was pleased with the outcome, even though the Chapmans avoided further jail time.

Barnwell said she wanted to spare her daughter the trauma of having to testify, as well as get the videotape out of circulation.

All copies must be destroyed except for one that will remain in the District Attorney's Office for three years, authorities said.

The boy's parents reportedly were angry because of confrontations between the boy and girl in previous weeks.