COLUMBIA, Mo. - A woman accused of helping a a mother kidnap her three children before a fatal crash pleaded guilty to child endangerment Monday.
Mackenzie Quiovers pleaded guilty to child endangerment and was sentenced to five years in prison a few days after the children's mother, Demetres Washington, pleaded guilty to child endangerment and involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Washington was charged in April 2017 with kidnapping her three children from a family member's home and crashing on Interstate 70, killing her 13-year-old daughter, Shianna Mays.
She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years Friday.
Boone County First Assistant Prosecutor Tracy Gonzalez said this was one of the most tragic cases she's handled and that it touched many lives.
"Ms. Washington lost her daughter as a result of this incident, two of her other children were severely injured, the children were traumatized by this," Gonzalez said.
Quiovers was accused of helping Washington kidnap the children and was in the vehicle when it crashed. Each woman originally faced charges of kidnapping and second-degree murder.
Gonzalez said the evidence shows that Quiovers was a friend who happened to be with Washington at the time of the incident instead of taking an active role in planning and carrying it out.
The pleas in both cases minimized the harm to Washington's children, who might have been called as witnesses in the trials against their mother and Quiovers, Gonzalez said.
Prosecutors contended Quiovers endangered the children because they were not wearing seat belts.