TUSCUMBIA — Colbert County jurors deliberated 40 minutes to convict a Cherokee woman of torturing her stepson by putting clothespins on his genitals as a form of punishment, officials said.
Courthouse officials said Cinderella Sunshine Clever, 32, 1145 Virginia St., Cherokee, was found guilty of torture and willful abuse of a child.
The jury returned the verdict just before 11:15 a.m., courthouse officials said Friday.
Clever was arrested with her husband, Dustin Davis Clever, 31, in August 2011 after they were accused of torturing the 5-year-old child for what they considered to be inappropriate dancing, authorities said.
“We’re pleased with the verdict,” Colbert County Assistant District Attorney Kyle Brown said. “We felt going in that we had a strong case.”
Courthouse officials said although Clever signed a statement admitting to what she did to the child, she said she signed the statement under duress and denied she had harmed the boy.
Brown said the boy and his sister testified during the four-day trial. The sister saw the incident, officials said.
At the time of the arrest, investigators said the boy was dancing in the house with his older sister, and Clever became upset with the way he was dancing.
Authorities said Clever thought the boy was dancing inappropriately, made him stop and put a clothespin on him as punishment.
Reports indicate as a part of the punishment, Clever made the boy stand still for several minutes with the clothespin attached to his genitals.
“The two children have been constant about what happened and what was done,” Brown said. “They testified to that during the trial.”
Courthouse officials said Clever gave notice that she would apply for probation after the jury’s decision.
Colbert County Circuit Court Judge Hal Hughston allowed Clever to remain out of jail on bail until a sentencing and probation hearing takes place. Those hearings will be within the next 30 days.
Torture and willful abuse of a child is a Class C felony and punishable by 1-10 years in prison.
The case against Dustin Clever is pending.