Durand woman accused of child abuse pleads guilty

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Corunna (WJRT) - (8/31/17) - A Shiawassee County woman has pled guilty to first degree child abuse in a case that has shocked mid-Michigan. Abigail Springs was accused of allowing her 22-month old daughter to be beaten and scalded.

Springs was arrested in March in Durand when it was found her daughter Natalie had severe burns and a lacerated liver. Springs Thursday morning avoided a trial by accepting a plea.

"Some bad choices. Bad decisions. She is at least making the initial step forward by acknowledging her poor judgment, poor actions," said Charles Quick, Shiawassee County assistant prosecutor.

Springs appeared before Shiawassee County Circuit Judge Matthew Stewart. She told the judge her boyfriend Derrick Mason the third had injured and bruised little Natalie. the two of them decided to give Natalie a bath.

Mason heated some water in a microwave and poured it in the tub, seriously burning Natalie. The little girl is doing much better now but at first doctors feared for her life. We're told Natalie has made a full recovery since being hospitalized in February. She spent weeks at Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor fighting for her life.

Springs told Judge Stewart she was afraid of Mason and didn't try to stop him as he hurt her daughter. Mason has pled guilty to first degree child abuse and could be sentenced Friday.

By pleading guilty to first degree child abuse, Springs could have been sentenced to life in prison. But the prosecutor and her lawyer have agreed to a lesser sentence.

"We were pleased we got a conviction to the charge. We believe that was important. There was never any discussion on our part about any sort of plea reduction," Quick said.

Springs is expected to be sentenced in October. She could spend up to eleven years in prison.

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