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Mother Retains Custody of Children Because There is Nowhere Else for Them to Go

| February 7, 2014


BELFAST, Maine (AP) – A Maine mother charged with deliberately burning her 6-year-old son’s hand on a wood stove as punishment has retained custody of all three of her children. ¬†Authorities say this is because there’s nowhere else for the children to go. Michelle Dunworth, of Thorndike, has pleaded not guilty to charges of endangering the welfare of a child and domestic violence assault. Police say the boy had accidentally pushed his 7-year-old sister against the stove while they were playing last month, prompting the punishment. Dunworth says both burns were accidental. Prosecutors say the 30-year-old Dunworth was allowed to keep custody of her children because the family had just moved to Maine from Kansas and there were no family members or friends who could take them. Dunworth has no criminal record.

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