- Associated Press - Saturday, November 26, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A woman convicted of lying to protect her boyfriend in the beating death of his 2-year-old son has been released from prison after serving about four months of a 10-year sentence.

Lesley Sue Marcotte, 28, was sentenced in July after pleading guilty to hindering apprehension or conviction of Jeffery Clifton in the death of Malik Drummond.

Marcotte and Clifton reported the boy missing in November 2014. About a year later, Marcotte said the boy died after being beaten by Clifton, 44, who is now serving 40 years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and abuse of a corpse as part of a plea deal with prosecutors in which the murder charge was reduced from capital murder, which carries a possible death sentence.

Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2gx7bxt ) that Marcotte was released Nov. 18 to Arkansas Community Correction, which provides parole supervision and residential-style centers with educational programs, employment counseling and other programs.

A phone call Saturday to a number listed in Marcotte’s name in Huntington was answered by a man who said the woman did not live there. A call to her defense attorney was not immediately returned and calls to the prosecutor and a spokeswoman for Arkansas Community Correction rang unanswered.

Clifton beat the child to death because the boy drank another child’s drink, police said, and Marcotte and Clifton conspired to conceal the death for several days. Clifton then took the body to a vacant lot in neighboring Jackson County and the couple reported that the boy had walked away from Clifton’s home.

Hundreds searched the Searcy area for the missing toddler, who lived with his mother, but was spending time at his father’s home.

It was a year before Marcotte changed her story and implicated Clifton in the child’s death and Clifton eventually led authorities to the lot where the body was found on Dec. 1, 2015.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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