NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. -- A former behavior technician at a hospital at the center of a CBS 6 Problem Solvers investigation pled no contest in court on Monday to charges that she intentionally injured a child in her care.
As part of a plea deal, 57-year-old Stacey Burrell, of King William, was convicted of felony unlawful wounding.
CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone said pleading no contest was a guilty plea in all aspects, except it does not involve an admission of guilt.
Burrell acknowledged that there was sufficient evidence to be found guilty had this case gone to trial.
In September 2019, Burrell intentionally burned 16-year-old Jackson Haddon with hot water at Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents in New Kent County.
“If I did that to my child I would’ve already been in jail,” Jackson's mother Shannon Haddon said in an April 2020 report about her son's injuries. “I would have been arrested a long time ago, so I would like to see justice for my son.”
In exchange for her plea, a felony malicious wounding charge was reduced to felony unlawful wounding.
Shannon Haddon said justice for her at the minimum would have been a malicious wounding conviction that carried a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars. At most Burrell now faces is a five-year sentence.
Burrell will be sentenced in December.
“The conduct committed by this behavioral technician against a juvenile patient is truly awful and should never occur in a facility that is meant to treat and take care of children,” Virginia Attorney General Herring said.
Burrell's conviction is the latest in an ongoing Virginia State Police investigation into Cumberland Hospital.
An 18-year-old former patient was on Jackson's unit the night of the incident. She said she woke up from a nap on the night of September 14, 2019 and said she overheard staff talking about the incident. She then saw Jackson.
"They were saying he was burned in the shower and the other staff were like and that doesn't make sense, the way his burn was like on his body the way it looked and if he was burned in the shower, the other kids would have definitely been burned and there were people who came in and checked the shower afterwards to see if it was too hot and they said it wasn't and that the staff had seen like, had noticed that Stacy, like, went in there and microwaved water."
The patient said that she remembers the look in Jackson's eyes after the incident.
"I could look into his eyes and like see the pain that he was feeling. It was red and inflamed. She should have been the one to like, help the children not get hurt and she was the one that caused him to be hurt and cause him to change. Afterwards, he was like, absent and not there and he like stopped talking like, he like wouldn't even like respond to like, others talking to him. "It broke me. I considered all those children on that unit like siblings. It's not fair what happened, and it shouldn't have happened, and I don't want it to happen again. I wanted to help Jackson get what he deserves."
The patient said she hopes that Jackson is able to get justice for the incident.