The Miller County woman convicted in 2012 of murdering 28-month-old Alexis Ward in 2008 was denied a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct the judgement of a Laclede County jury who found her guilty of second degree murder and child abuse in the death of her boyfriend’s daughter.

The Miller County woman convicted in 2012 of murdering 28-month-old Alexis Ward in 2008 was denied a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct the judgement of a Laclede County jury who found her guilty of second degree murder and child abuse in the death of her boyfriend’s daughter.

On July 19, 2017, Miller County Circuit Court Judge Stan Moore dismissed Cheryl A. Patrick’s motion seeking to overturn the two Class A felony convictions, instead upholding two 20-year sentences that were ordered to be served consecutively for a total of 40 years in September of 2012, according to a press release from Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Winfrey.

The motion, filed in 2015, claimed that Patrick’s trial attorney was ineffective, among other things, which was opposed to by Winfrey’s office who inherited the case from former Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Howard.

“We are pleased with this result and we will continue to prosecute crimes against children at every level of court and every stage of the criminal justice system,” Winfrey said.

Patrick, now 28, resided near Tuscumbia at the time of her arrest by the Miller County Sheriff’s Office when she was 19-years-old and dating the father of the child, James Ward. Alexis Ward died on February 10, 2008, two days after being rushed to the University of Missouri Hospital for treatment of serious injuries later to be discovered to have been inflicted by Patrick while Ward was at work.

At approximately 6:04 p.m. on February 8, 2008, Miller County E911 received a call in reference to an unresponsive 28-month-old female, identified as Alexis Ward. EMS was met at the ambulance door by Ward, who was holding the unresponsive child, to be flown to University Hospital.

Two physicians agreed that the child had “possibly been shaken” and “sure the injuries were from non-accidental trauma due due to the rapid acceleration/deceleration of the brain,” according to the probable cause statement.

Ward told police Patrick told him Alexis Ward and his other child were sleeping in the bedroom and when he arrived observed Alexis having some type of seizure.

Patrick gave several conflicting accounts to investigators, according to the document, that the child had fallen, gotten sick, had a seizure and accused James of shaking and throwing the child into a playpen before changing her account again.

On May 23, 2008, Patrick told investigators she lied about Ward causing the injuries and that she was the one responsible.

“Cheryl Patrick told me that on February 8, 2008 she had been watching A.W. and became upset and shoved A.W. to the ground twice from behind,” according to the probable cause statement. “Cheryl Patrick told me that she then carried A.W. to the playpen and put A.W. in it and left her there. Cheryl Patrick told me she returned later and found A.W. having a seizure.”

During Patrick’s trial in 2012, Roger Gibbons, who handled the case for the Miller County Prosecuting Attorney’s office said, “make no mistake, the defendant literally beat the life out of this little girl,” according to previous reporting in the Lake Sun.