Thomasville educator pleads guilty to nine felony counts of child cruelty

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 10, 2019

Linda McLean was indicted on more than a dozen child cruelty and aggravated assault charges in 2017.

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) — The founder of Favor Christian Academy pleaded guilty to nine felony counts of first degree child cruelty around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday in the Thomas County Judicial Center.

Linda McLean was indicted on 18 child cruelty and aggravated assault charges in 2017. Former students said they were beaten, choked and whipped with a yardstick.

The trial was expected to last several days, with more than a dozen witnesses lined up to testify for both parties. Before the jury filed in to take their seats Tuesday morning, McLean and her attorney approached the stand.

Each charge she pleaded guilty to is connected to a former Favor Christian Academy student accusing her of violent acts between August 2015 and December 2016

With her guilty plea, the video evidence of the alleged violence won't be shown in court.

Judge Brian McDaniel says the nine felony counts could mean up to 120 years of prison, probation or both, all served consecutively.

She is out on bond until sentencing, which will be set between December and January.

In the meantime, a presentence investigation will be conducted.

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