A mother accused of cutting off part of her son's tongue with hot scissors avoided a 5-year prison sentence and was sentenced to 10 years probation.

But before going on probation, Samantha J. Davis, 33, will serve 60 to 180 days in a detention center.

Judge Wade Crumbley also told Davis to complete a 26-week parenting class, a nonviolence class and have only supervised visits with her son.

Henry County prosecutors had recommended that Davis serve five years in prison. But the boy's father testified Tuesday that he did not want her to go to prison.

"He told the judge she is a good woman, and he doesn't feel his son is unsafe around her," Davis' lawyer, Rickey L. Richardson, said.

Davis heated a pair of scissors on a stove in August 2004 and held it to her 6-year-old son's neck before cutting off a piece of his tongue as punishment for talking back, authorities said. Her estranged husband, Toby Davis reported the injuries to police and she was arrested.

The child has been in his father's custody since then. Davis pleaded guilty in June to two child cruelty charges.

But the state's case was hampered when Toby Davis filed court papers refusing to cooperate with the prosecution and asking that charges be dropped. The boy also signed an affidavit saying he did not want his mother prosecuted.

Henry District Attorney Tommy Floyd said he did not know if the father's refusal affected the sentence.

"The judge didn't say, 'This is why I'm doing what I'm doing.' I know the father was very reluctant to prosecute and we feel he influenced the child," Floyd said.

In the meantime, Richardson said Samantha Davis was relieved by the sentence.

"She was hoping for straight probation but at least it isn't the five years in prison the state wanted," he said.