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Woman convicted of assaulting infant asks judge to reconsider sentence

| Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2001

A Cleveland woman Tuesday asked a Fayette County judge to reconsider her five- to 10-year sentence for assaulting her infant daughter.

Andrea M. Settle, 22, was convicted at trial last month of aggravated assault, two counts of endangering the welfare of children, and recklessly endangering another person.

Settle was visiting relatives in Fayette County in June 1999 when she took her 6-week-old daughter, Alissa Scalf, to Brownsville General Hospital. Doctors found a skull fracture and sent the infant to Pittsburgh via helicopter for further tests. Doctors at Children's Hospital found signs of broken bones in Alissa's legs, shoulder and arms, along with a second skull fracture.

According to prosecutors, Settle admitted that she shook the baby on several occasions and threw her against a couch, causing the injury that sent Alissa to the hospital.

In the motion filed yesterday with the Fayette County Clerk of Courts, Settle's attorney, Public Defender Jeffrey Whiteko, argues that his client shouldn't have to serve such a lengthy sentence.

'The defendant is a young woman ... with two children. Although (Settle) was sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment, she believes her sentence is too harsh and severe under the circumstances.

'A lighter sentence would be appropriate ... and would be sufficient to rehabilitate the defendant, if in fact rehabilitation is necessary,' states the filing.

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