Category Archives: Physical Abuse

Child Malnourished And Kept In Crate

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Child was malnourished and kept in a wooden crate.

Preliminary hearing held for 4 people
charged with child abuse in
Stone County, Missouri

STONE COUNTY, MO  –  A preliminary hearing was held on Tuesday for four people charged for child abuse back in November.

Dessa A. Barton, 26, W. Dalton McLendon, 26, Kathreine Kost, 56, and Richard A Hilliker, 52, pleaded not guilty to their charges.  Each face charges of endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse.

In a hearing that lasted more than three hours, the Stone County Prosecuting Attorney presented various pieces of evidence and called multiple witnesses to the stand.  Among witnesses were Stone County detectives as well as the ex-boyfriend of Dessa Barton, who is the mother of the child.

Detectives said the then 4-year-old boy suffered from extreme malnutrition.  They also said the young boy spent extended periods of time in a wooden crate constructed of pallets.

On Tuesday Stone County Prosecutor Matt Selby showed a number of photos taken during a search of the home.

Photos showed the crate itself, a make-shift door for the crate as well as blankets and children’s clothing.  During testimonies, detectives said Dalton McLendon previously denied using the crate for the child, instead they say McLendon said it was used for a dog.

Detectives who gave testimony also said McLendon admitted to spanking the boy and sometimes using a belt on him.  Among the photos shared by Selby was a photo of a belt, which detectives described as “the belt.”

“[McLendon said the child] had this problem where he would pee himself,” Stone County detective Matthew Maggard said.

Maggard also said McLendon told him he had issues trying to get the boy to play with him.

“Dalton said he tried to play with [the child] but he never wanted to play with him because he seemed like a standoff child,” Maggard said in his testimony.

Selby also presented phone records between a few of the four.  All four were present during the hearing, but a few of the defense attorneys said some of the evidence did not pertain to each individuals case.

Detectives had also testified that medical personnel told them the child’s injuries were consistent with physical abuse.  One detective said the boy was quite skinny when they saw him.

One investigator who gave testimony said Barton told detectives in an interview that she did not know how her son had hurt himself.  They said Barton said she believed her son was causing self harm.  Detectives said she told them she thought her son need more psychiatric help than medical attention.

Investigators initially received a 911 call on November 6 about the child being unresponsive in a Billings home.  Emergency crews transported the him to a Springfield hospital, then airlifted him to a Kansas City hospital.

TN Couple Plead Not Guilty At Arraignment

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Randall Ridenour, 54, of Harriman, Tennessee,

East Tennessee couple charged with
aggravated Child Abuse, assault of
six children

HARRIMAN, TN  –  A couple in Harriman, Tennessee face a slew of aggravated abuse charges of six children, according to a grand jury indictment.

.jpg photo of man charged in felony abuse of 6 children
Michelle Ridenour, 48, of Harriman, Tennessee,

Randall Ridenour, 54, and Michelle Ridenour, 48, of Harriman have been charged with 17 counts of aggravated child abuse, seven counts of aggravated child neglect and five counts of aggravated assault.

The two plead not guilty in an arraignment hearing on Monday, October 26.

The alleged abuses involve six children, ages 6-14, and occurred between Jan. 1, 2018, and June 13 of this year.

According to the list of charges in the indictment, the victims sustained severe bruising from being whipped by a belt.

The charges also allege the couple knowingly treated and neglected the victims, “in such a manner as to inflict injury, and the abuse was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel or involved the infliction of torture to the victim.”

The five counts of aggravated assault listed involve both strangulation or attempted strangulation and the use or display of a deadly weapon, according to court documents.

They are set to appear in court on Friday, Dec. 18.

OK Man Lost Daughter In Hot Vehicle

 

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#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters

Edmond father to not face charges for
2-year-old’s hot car death

EDMOND, OK – Authorities in Edmond say a local father will not face charges for the death of his 2-year-old daughter.

Oklahoma Child left in hot car dies

Around 6 p.m. on Aug. 17, 911 dispatchers received a frantic call from a home in reference to a child in a hot car.

The father said that his youngest daughter, 2-year-old Cecelia Chavez, had been left in the family’s SUV for four to six hours.

When investigators arrived, they found Cecelia unresponsive, Officers and Firefighters performed CPR.  She was rushed to OU Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City where she was pronounced dead.

Cecelia Chavez became the 19th Child to lost their life to heat stroke in a hot vehicle this year.

After a thorough investigation, Edmond detectives asked Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater to file child neglect charges against the girl’s father, Joseph Chavez.

However, Prater declined those charges.

Officials say Chavez will not face charges and the case has been closed.

MO Man Charged With Murder And Child Abuse

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Ying Su and her granddaughter Grace, 2, stand Tuesday in front of the Boone County Courthouse.

Elledge murder and child abuse cases
involve 40 witnesses

COLUMBIA, MO  –  At a status hearing for murder suspect Joseph Elledge on Friday, the state filed motions to endorse 40 witnesses for multiple charges against the defendant.

Elledge, 24, is charged with first-degree murder as well as unrelated charges for child abuse, child endangerment and third-degree domestic assault.  He’s accused of killing his wife, Mengqi Ji, in October of 2019.

Over the course of the missing person investigation into his wife’s disappearance, police found evidence of bruising on Elledge and Ji’s daughter.  The state also argued Elledge endangered the welfare of the child by separating her from her mother.

On Friday, the state asked that 23 witnesses in the murder case and 17 in the child abuse case be endorsed.

Ji’s body has not been found.

As previously reported by the Missourian, Columbia police recently resumed the search, continuing the excavation of a levee in the Lamine River, where investigators have said they have reason to believe Ji’s body might be found.

Boone County Chief Prosecutor Dan Knight said the trial could take up to a month, because of delays related to COVID-19 and translating witness testimony.  Many of the witnesses called to testify speak Chinese.

In another layer of complication for the case, processes for selecting and impaneling jurors have become protracted because of reduced occupancy limits in courtrooms and the need for safe social distance.

No trial date has been set.  A bond hearing was scheduled for Nov. 30, and Knight said at that point the court may have a better idea when the trial will begin.

WA Women Charged In Unrelated Child Abuse Cases

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Kitsap County Courthouse

Women charged with felony child abuse
in separate cases

PORT ORCHARD, WA  –  In unrelated incidents, two women were charged Tuesday in Kitsap Superior Court with felony child abuse.

One was charged for leaving a 1-year-old girl in a hot car while attempting to shoplift at the Silverdale Target and another for beating her 6-year-old son with a belt after he got into a fight at school.

Sheriff’s deputies were called Sept. 4 by employees of a private school in East Bremerton reporting that a student had asked to stand instead of sit, as it hurt him to sit because of “significant welts and marks” on his backside after his mother disciplined him, according to court documents.

Deputies spoke with his mother, 30, who said the boy had been assaulting other children and she wanted to stop this behavior.  She gave deputies a synthetic leather belt with metal features.

The woman pleaded not guilty to a count of third-degree assault of a child.

The boy and a sibling were placed in protective custody.

Deputies were called Sunday to the Silverdale Target after security guards there said a woman, 24, they knew to repeatedly shoplift from other Target stores had selected some bottles of alcohol.  She was then joined by a man, 56, who is believed to have gone into the store to warn her security was present, according to court documents.

The woman left behind the items but when the two went back to the car, deputies met them and attempted to serve them with a notice that they had been banned from returning to any Target.

While at the car, deputies noticed 1-year-old girl in the back seat who appeared to be sweating.  A deputy wrote in documents that it was 75 degrees out and the temperature inside the car was likely much higher.  Medics were called and said the girl was lethargic and needed to be taken to the hospital for an evaluation.

Deputies were told by a security guard that, according to surveillance camera footage taken inside the store, the two adults left the baby in the car unattended for about 23 minutes.  The girl was turned over to Child Protective Services after she was released from the hospital.

Both the man and woman were arrested and booked into the Kitsap County Jail. They pleaded not guilty to second-degree criminal mistreatment and reckless endangerment.