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Alexander woman gets 4 years’ probation for faking adopted son’s illness

by William Sanders | August 5, 2021 at 6:58 a.m.

An Alexander woman accused of faking the illness of her adopted son pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a minor on Wednesday after her arrest last week.

Saline County Circuit Court documents said Kristy Beth Schneider will be placed on probation for 48 months, have a no-contact order with her adopted son and pay $1,940 over a 22-month period.

From 2017 to 2019, Schneider presented false medical information to doctors and created a community effort to support the child.

Schneider and her husband, Erik Schneider, adopted the boy in 2014, when he was 5 years old.

In February 2019, the Schneiders and the boy, who went by Louie at the time, were featured in news reports after "hundreds of law enforcement officials" greeted him along the way to Arkansas Children's Hospital for end-of-life care to honor the boy's final request, according to an ABC News article.

The boy's condition improved after being taken off a nutrition line, court records said.

The plea agreement Wednesday for endangering the welfare of a minor is less than the 6 years imprisonment and $10,000 fine Schneider could have faced.

The Schneiders have also been sued by the state after they collected $31,000 to treat the illness.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said Wednesday that each violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices law could result in a $10,000 fine.

The lawsuit said several doctors and state Human Services Department attorneys claimed the boy was a victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy or, according to the Mayo Clinic, "when someone falsely claims another person has physical or psychological signs or symptoms of illness, or causes injury or disease in another person with the intention of deceiving others."

The boy was treated at the Mayo Clinic from May 28, 2019, to June 14, 2019, where a request for a hospice referral was denied by physicians who believed it to be unnecessary, according to the lawsuit.

The 11-year-old was taken away from the Schneiders in September 2019 after the Human Services Department received a tip through the child abuse hotline, court records said.

A Human Services Department spokeswoman previously said the agency is prohibited from saying whether the child has been adopted by another family.

Print Headline: Mother guilty in endangerment case

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