Clarksville man backs out of plea deal in girl’s abuse death

A southern Indiana man has backed out of a plea agreement in the child abuse death of his former girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter.

Twenty-eight-year-old Joseph Manske of Clarksville signed an agreement Friday to plead guilty to two charges of neglect of a dependent involving Alexis Arensman and the girl’s 4-year-old sister. He would have been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

However, Manske said Monday he wished to withdraw from the agreement, and Clark Circuit Judge Vicki Carmichael granted his request. He now faces an April 10 trial.

The News and Tribune reported Manske said he wasn’t involved in Alexis’ Feb. 22, 2015, death. Bruises and marks were found on her body, and coroners ruled she died from battered child syndrome.

Alexis' mother, 25-year-old Cynthia Weigleb, faces similar charges.

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