- Associated Press - Thursday, July 7, 2016

SEARCY, Ark. (AP) - A Springdale woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after admitting she hindered the apprehension of a Searcy man now serving 40 years for the death of his 2-year-old son.

Lesley Sue Marcotte, 28, admitted to lying about the death of Malik Drummond to protect her partner, Jeffery Clifton, The Daily Citizen reported (https://bit.ly/29qkyg3 ). Clifton, 43, pleaded no contest to a second-degree murder charge in May. Prosecutors reduced the charge from capital murder, which could have led to his execution.

Clifton initially said the boy wandered from his home in November 2014, triggering a broad search. Marcotte initially told police the child had disappeared, but a year later told officers that Clifton had fatally beaten the child.

Clifton is serving 30 years in prison for second-degree murder and 10 additional years for abuse of a corpse. Prosecuting Attorney Becky McCoy told White County Circuit Judge Robert Edwards on Wednesday that Marcotte deserved a stiff sentence, too, even without a previous criminal history.

“On Nov. 23, 2014, this defendant and her boyfriend Jeff Clifton reported his 2-year-old son Malik Drummond missing from their apartment in Searcy,” she said. “This defendant reported that the child had walked out of the house and virtually disappeared. An extensive search for the child was conducted including civilians, local state, and federal law enforcement officers, as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.”

McCoy said Marcotte engaged in a cover-up for a year, misleading police and tampering with evidence.

Marcotte declined to speak in court. But in an interview with police last year, she said Clifton had beaten the boy and kept his body in his truck until Nov. 23 - even taking it to work. An affidavit said Clifton and Marcotte initially considered framing the boy’s mother before Clifton decided to tell police the boy had wandered away.


Information from: The Daily Citizen, https://www.thedailycitizen.com/

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