Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the most recent court records in the case.
LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The trial for a Florence woman accused of beating a 4-year-old and forcing them to eat makeup ended instead with a plea agreement, according to Lauderdale County District Attorney Christopher Connolly.
Rebecca Lynn Barnett, 24, was arrested nearly one year ago and charged with one count of child abuse and one count of third-degree domestic violence.
On Monday, she pleaded guilty to child abuse and agreed to the maximum sentence for a Class C felony – 10 years. She also agreed to enter into a Pretrial Diversion Program.
The sentence will be split, with Barnett spending two years in prison. If she successfully finishes the program, her case will then be dismissed. If she fails, she will be sentenced to prison.
According to investigators, she abused the child and threatened to kill her, along with making her eat makeup and cussing at her.
Barnett was released shortly after her arrest on a $20,000 bond.
After she was indicted on both charges by a Lauderdale County Grand Jury in 2022, court records show Barnett entered a plea of not guilty.
“The case was settled,” DA Connolly said, “after discussions with and with the approval of the attorney who represents the interests of the victim.”