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Examiner
  • Independence couple sentenced for child endangerment

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  • Two Independence residents have pleaded guilty to five counts of child endangerment.
    Erica L. Stalker, 30, and Joseph L. Stalker, 49, of Independence, were each sentenced to two years of supervised probation after both pleaded guilty on March 17 to five counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to court records.
    The charges and subsequent guilty pleas stem from a June 2013 child welfare inspection by Independence Police. Officers discovered a 9-year-old boy with several insect bites on his body at the Stalker residence located in the 1900 block of South Overton Avenue in Independence.
    According to the IPD probable-cause statement, an ambulance was called for the boy after an officer saw open sores from the bites on him. A doctor at Centerpoint Medical Center, who examined the child, said he and the other eight children, ranging in the ages from 2 to 16, living at the Overton Avenue residence needed to be removed from the home.
    Police later said the home was infested with roaches, flies and “extreme clutter and trash.” There was also “extreme mold” in the basement and “an overwhelming odor similar to a dead animal as well as an overwhelming odor of cat urine.”
    Another adult, Angela R. Haney, 30, who also lived at the residence with the Stalkers, was charged with four felony counts of abuse or neglect of a child. Haney is the mother of four of the nine children living at the home, and the Stalkers are parents of the other five children. Haney and Erica Stalker are cousins. Haney is scheduled for trial on July 14.
    Both Erica and Joseph Stalker were also ordered to abide by all the directives of the Missouri Social Services Children’s Division and Jackson County Family Court.
    Examiner’s Jeff Fox contributed to this report.

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