Crime & Courts

June 11, 2014

Pratt man charged with murder in January death of baby

A Pratt man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of an infant last January, the state Attorney General’s Office announced Wednesday.

A Pratt man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of an infant last January, the state Attorney General’s Office announced Wednesday.

Joseph D. Sponaugle, 27, was arrested at 3:47 p.m. Tuesday in Pratt, according to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. The murder charge is connected to the death of a 3-month-old girl, who was severely shaken between Jan. 11 and Jan. 14, according to a charging document filed in Pratt County.

Sponaugle was also charged with child abuse of the infant girl and child endangerment of another child. He is accused of “recklessly” causing or allowing a 13-month-old boy to be placed in a situation where the child’s life, body or health were endangered last year. The alleged crime occurred between May 31 and July 31 of last year.

Upon the request of Pratt County Attorney Kenneth Van Blaricum, the Attorney General’s Office will prosecute the case. Sponaugle made his first appearance Wednesday in Pratt County District Court. His bond was set at $1 million.

The date for Sponaugle’s next court appearance has not been set.

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