Thursday, September 03, 2015
Couple pleads not guilty as preparations made to fly child to Hawaii for funeral
Tearra Diane Olson, 20, Carthage, pleaded not guilty during a video arraignment. Her fiancee, Albert Steven O'Connor, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of endangering the welfare of the child. The two have only been in Carthage for a few months, coming here from Fairfield, California.
The probable cause affidavit indicates that O'Connor's daughter, Emalata Hoeft, had refused to eat, was crying, and a frustrated Olson slammed the girl's head against a hard surface three times.
Olson and O'Connor had left her alone at home, locked in her room, with a sippy cup, while he worked at Butterball and she worked at Flex-o-Lators, according to the probable cause affidavit.
The Carthage Press reports that Emalata's mother, Frida Hoeft, had booked a flight to Joplin last week to pick up Emalata. Hoeft and O'Connor had a shared custody agreement. Now Emalata will be flown to Honolulu, Hawaii, later this week for her burial.