February 7, 2016

Drabek-Chritton reaches plea deal

A Madison woman, accused of torturing and starving her teenage stepdaughter, has agreed to a plea deal. It came just hours before Melinda Drabek-Chritton’s trial was set to begin. Drabek-Chritton agreed to plead no contest to charges of first-degree reckless endangering safety and causing mental harm to a child. Both charges are felonies that carry a combined maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. Prosecutors agreed to drop four other felony counts. Investigators say Drabek-Chritton and her husband Chad, who is the girl’s father, kept the girl locked in their basement, tortured her and starved her down to 68 pounds. Last month, Chad Chritton was found guilty on one count of child neglect. Jurors deadlocked on several other felonies. A stepbrother is also charged with sexually abusing the victim, who is now 15. He’s set to stand trial this summer.



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