Charges against Marionville teacher dropped, refiled, dropped again

Steve Chapman

Kimberly Daniels

Attorney says Marionville’s Daniels feels “vindicated” as controversy ends without official charges from Law. Co. prosecutor
Last September, charges of child abuse and hindering prosecution were filed against Kimberly Daniels, a teacher at Marionville Elementary School. On Monday, Jan. 6, those charges were dismissed. On Tuesday, Jan. 7, a new child abuse charge was filed against her, only for prosecutors to drop the charges the next day.
Stacy Bilyeu, a Springfield attorney who represented Daniels at trial, said Daniels feels “vindicated” by the outcome.
“She’s exhausted, and she does feel vindicated, Bilyeu said. “She is glad to have it behind her.”
Bilyeu said the original charges against Daniels were dismissed due to a lack of probable cause.
“We had a full preliminary hearing the first time. The prosecutor called witnesses; I cross-examined those witnesses, and the judge determined that there was not probable cause for either case,” she said.
Bilyeu declined to speculate on why the prosecutor dropped the new charge a day after filing.
“That was his decision,” she said.
Asked if she expected charges to be filed a third time, Bilyeu replied, “It would surprise me.”
The charges against Bilyeu stem from an incident that took place on June 6, 2019 at the Marionville Elementary School playground. According to the probable cause statement in the case, three children interviewed in the incident all stated that when Daniels divided the children on the playground into kickball teams, a four-year-old boy who was directed to go into the outfield started crying because he wanted to stay in line with his sister. The children all stated Daniels came and grabbed the boy by the upper arm, but they gave differing accounts as to how this happened.
The next day, Daniels made a statement that she went over to the children because a boy was hitting other children, and when she asked him to stop and come to her, when he didn’t she used “handle with care” training to guide him away from the rest of the children. She stated she was gentle with him the entire time and told him he couldn’t hit other people.
Other teachers on the playground were interviewed. One said that Daniels went over to the fence to split the teams up and said the boy was asked to go to the outfield but wouldn’t and started crying when Daniels asked him to go to the fence; she also said the boy was hanging onto his sister.  The teacher also said that Daniels helped the boy to the fence, but when the investigator asked her how Daniels did this, she couldn’t remember if Daniels had her hand on his arm or hand.
Another teacher said Daniels pulled the boy to the side, but said she couldn’t remember how. Another said Daniels guided the boy to the fence, and another said the boy threw himself to the ground and Daniels guided him to the fence. The other teachers didn’t see what happened, but two teachers said they saw the boy crying, so they went over.
Bilyeu expressed appreciation to those who supported Daniels and said she is now looking ahead to the future now that the case appears to be resolved.
“We are … appreciative for the support that she received,” Bilyeu said, “and we are appreciative for the attention that members of the media paid to the case to make sure that they got the truth out there, and she is looking forward to getting on with her life and putting this nightmare behind her.”


Lawrence County Record

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Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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