TIFFANY D. NELSON, d/o/b 9-22-1985, of Branson, was sentenced on Monday, March 27, 2017, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, to seven (7) years in prison for the class C felony of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree. Christian County Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson sentenced Nelson following Nelson’s guilty plea on January 25, 2017. There was no plea agreement between Nelson and the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office as to what sentence Nelson would receive. The class C felony of endangering the welfare of a child carries a maximum possible sentence of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a $5,000.00 fine.
The felony charge stemmed from a call for emergency medical assistance that was needed for a sixteen-month-old child at an apartment on Cannonball Loop, in Branson, on July 31, 2015. The child was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where doctors determined that the child had suffered multiple serious, non-accidental injuries to his head and face. When questioned, Nelson’s live-in boyfriend, Joshua Holler, told investigators that he had tripped and fallen on the child while Holler was vacuuming the floor in the apartment, on July 28, 2015. Holler’s explanation did not match the injuries to the child, according to the child’s doctors. On the morning of July 31, 2015, Nelson awakened to find her child un-responsive in his bed. The State was prepared to present evidence at a trial that Nelson was aware that Holler had been physically abusing the child, and that Nelson waited approximately three (3) hours before calling 9-1-1 for medical help on the morning of July 31, 2015.
Holler was sentenced to serve twelve (12) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for child abuse, on August 5, 2016.