A guilty plea has been struck in the case of an Independence man accused of shaking his girlfriend’s 23-month-old daughter to death. Bobby Matthews admits he shook Alexis Smothers “real hard” last February after her crying and dirty diapers kept him up all night. Matthews has pleaded guilty to all five charges against him, including second-degree murder. Court documents state that Matthews had beaten the child and her 5-year-old half brother repeatedly for three weeks. He faces up to life in prison for each charge of second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. The maximum penalty for each child abuse charge is 20 years. Prosecutors say they will seek the maximum penalty on each count. The children’s mother, Tammy Yates, had previously been charged in the abuse and was sentenced to ten years in prison.
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