Pregnant Michigan woman pleads no contest to child abuse in 6-year-old son's beating death

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SAGINAW, Michigan — A pregnant Michigan woman pleaded no contest to second-degree child abuse Thursday in the beating death of her 6-year-old son.

Mio Campbell, 31, faces up to 10 years in prison for the felony charge after prosecutors dropped an initial charge of first-degree child abuse. Her son, Elijah Dillard, suffered from head and abdominal injuries at the end of February that led to his death on March 1. An autopsy also revealed he had burns on nearly 50 percent of his body caused by scalding bath water.

Campbell's husband, Aki Dillard, 40, pleaded no contest to second-degree murder Monday and now faces a potential life sentence, The Saginaw News (http://bit.ly/1D0qTas ) reported. She testified against him as part of her plea deal.

"Her part in the whole thing is she's now going to be a convicted felon and is going to prison," county Chief Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Boyd said. "Without her testimony, we would not have been able to convict him with any certainty. As much as you may want to be severe with her, (the plea) was necessary to obtain her testimony."

On Thursday, Saginaw County Chief Circuit Judge Fred L. Borchard released Campbell on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond to allow her to give birth. Custody was transferred from the county Sheriff's Department to deputies on guard at a Saginaw hospital in an effort to alleviate costs of her pregnancy.

In July, Campbell's parental rights to her three other children, who have been in foster care since Elijah's death, were terminated.

Campbell, whose due date is set for Sept. 15, is expected to remain free on bond until her Nov. 19 sentencing. Dillard is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 22.


Information from: The Saginaw News, http://www.mlive.com/saginaw

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