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By David Knopf/Richmond News
Mark Teegarden, 48, of Polo was sentenced to 18 years in prison Wednesday for having sex with and impregnating his common-law stepdaughter, then 12.
A 12-member, all-male Ray County jury deliberated just over an hour Jan. 29 before returning its guilty verdict. Judge David Miller then sentenced Teegarden to the Department of Corrections last week after hearing from a member of the family on the crime’s impact on the victim and her family.
Miller said he opted for a more lenient sentence than the life term of 30 years sought by the prosecution because the defendant had no prior felony convictions.
Ray County Prosecutor Danielle Rogers said her request for no leniency in Teegarden’s sentencing was based on the victim’s testimony. The girl, now 15, told the court the defendant began having sex with her with she was 8.