Baxter County man convicted of abusing newborn son approved for parole

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BAXTER COUNTY, Ark. (KY3) -Debra Wiggins has fostered dozens of children and adopted five.

One of them is Malachi, who was born a healthy boy.

“He was born totally perfect. Nine pounds, one-ounce. Beautiful baby boy,” said Debra Wiggins, Malachi’s adoptive mother.

But everything changed for him just three weeks after his life began in 2016.

“He had a broken collarbone and had some trauma to his brain,” Wiggins said.

And that trauma is severe.

He needs help with everything from moving to eating, and he has multiple seizures a day.

In 2018 Malachi’s biological mother, Alyssia Kirby, got 26 years for permitting child abuse and endangering the welfare of a minor.

A year before that a jury sentenced his biological father, Jonathan Snow, to 41 years for abusing Malachi: 35 for battery and six for endangering the welfare of a minor.

“For them to give him the highest battery charge, I was relieved and thankful,” Wiggins said.

But recently the Arkansas Court of Appeals overturned Snow’s conviction for battery, saying “on this evidence it is just as reasonable to conclude that Kirby was the perpetrator. As we said earlier, two equally reasonable conclusions as to what occurred may give rise to a suspicion of guilt, but that is not enough to support a conviction.”

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