https://www.joplinglobe.com/news/crime_and_courts/father-sent-to-prison-in-neglecting-feedings-of-his-baby/article_c652884d-55f2-57e7-a7ac-ca6a0e564872.htmlA Carthage father pleaded guilty this week to felony child endangerment of an infant son with cystic fibrosis by denying the child sufficient nourishment and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Keith A. Gilbert, 47, was previously convicted of child endangerment in 2012 and received a suspended sentence.
The defendant and his wife, Amber L. Gilbert, 36, were charged in October 2017 with endangerment of their son, Dustin Gilbert, following an investigation by Carthage police and state child welfare investigators.
The couple were supposed to be phoning in weight checks of their baby to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City between June 26 and Aug. 14, 2017, when the boy was 3 and 4 months old. They failed to do so and also missed a cardiology appointment in Joplin on Aug. 11, 2017.
When they showed up with the baby Aug. 14 of that year at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, the boy was significantly under weight for his age and noticeably "unkempt," according to a probable-cause affidavit. He had weighed 8 pounds and 14 ounces at an appointment June 26 and should have been gaining about an ounce per day on his prescribed feeding, but instead had lost an ounce in a little less than two months.
In the hospital, he gained about a pound in 10 days and continued putting on weight at a healthy rate when placed in foster care, according to the affidavit. Keith Gilbert purportedly told the foster mother that they had slowed down their baby's nighttime feedings so they could sleep longer.
Amber Gilbert pleaded in February of last year to a reduced charge of misdemeanor endangerment and was placed on probation.