Child Abuse, trespassing charges for 2 who
caused Amber Alert in Denver Sunday
DENVER, CO – The woman accused of kidnapping her biological daughter with another man Sunday, setting off an Amber Alert, faces child abuse and trespassing charges after the incident.
Meshelle Jasmine Branch, 21, is accused of breaking into and taking her 22-month-old daughter from the girl’s grandmother’s home on East 104th Avenue in Thornton around 9 a.m. Sunday morning.
The grandmother had an active protection order against Branch that prohibits her from being at the grandmother’s home or having contact with the child, which Branch is also charged with violating, in addition to the child abuse and first-degree criminal trespassing charges.
Branch, along with 28-year-old Robert Owens, allegedly took the toddler, who has a severe heart condition that requires close monitoring, though it’s still unclear why.
The Amber Alert was issued around 12:45 p.m. Sunday — nearly four hours after the kidnapping. Branch and Owens turned themselves in at the Lone Tree Police Department around 1:30, along with the child, who was cleared medically at a nearby hospital and returned to her grandmother.
Branch and Owens, both of Lakewood, remain in custody Monday. Thornton police say the investigation into the case remains ongoing.
Mom charged with Child Abuse as son, 4,
in critical condition
Detroit, MI – A 23-year-old mother was arrested and a warrant was being sought for her 34-year-old boyfriend after Battle Creek police alleged the woman’s son suffered neglect.
The 4-year-old boy, Maloyd Gaines, was reported in critical condition Thursday afternoon at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, according to Battle Creek police. The hospital said his condition was not available.
Detective Sgt. Troy Gilleylen said the boy was malnourished and kept locked in a room and had injuries over several parts of his body.
Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert issued a charge of second-degree child abuse against Megan Schug of Battle Creek Thursday morning and she was arraigned in the afternoon in Calhoun County District Court. Gilbert also issued a similar warrant for Isaac Miller, known as Mike, Schug’s boyfriend and father of one of her children. Battle Creek police were looking for him Thursday afternoon.
At the arraignment, Magistrate David Heiss said Schug faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the charge. He set bond at $20,000 cash and scheduled a preliminary examination for April 6.
Watching from the audience were Schug’s mother, Melissa Schug, and her sister, Morgan Schug.
Outside the courtroom both said they had no idea about the charges until they attended the arraignment.
“Nobody told me anything before I came to court,” Melissa Schug said. “Just that he was in serious condition. I don’t know what is going on.”
She often visits her daughter and takes her to buy food. She said her grandson is always happy when she sees him and she calls him “my little Sumo” because he was chunky as a baby.
“He is such a sweetie. He is a sweetie. He loves his Nanna and he loves his aunties. He is a good kid.”
Police said they believe the boy has a mental disability and said he doesn’t speak. Melissa Schug said her grandson doesn’t talk much around strangers “but my baby talks; he talks to me and he is happy.”
And he eats, she said.
“He loves vegetables. He is not good on peas but me and him would eat the heck out of spinach. We would mix it with eggs and eat the heck out of it.”
She last saw her grandson about two weeks ago and didn’t detect any problems. However, she admits she doesn’t like Miller.
“I just didn’t like him,” Schug said, “just the way he was. She said he was not abusive but I know he drank and I don’t like people who drink.”
She said Miller once said he had to be stern with the boy.
“He said he had to be strict because he is a boy and I said he is not putting his hands on my grandson and she promised me.”
Police said they believe that the child was sometimes locked in a closet but Melissa Schug said she never saw that happen.
Officers were called to Bronson Battle Creek at 6:18 p.m. Wednesday after the child was taken to the emergency room by LifeCare Ambulance.
Schug told officers her son had not been feeling well for a few days and she was unable to feed him cereal about 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Police described the child’s condition as “severely dilapidated state of health” and Gilleylen said he had a low body temperature. The boy was transferred to Kalamazoo for treatment.
The boy had a round cut on his nose, large sores on his right side of his thigh and leg and substantial bruising to his toes on his left foot. Gilbert said he had injuries on his buttocks, back, feet, and head.
Police later went to the home in the 200 block of East Emmett Street and said they found questionable living conditions. Shug’s three daughters were taken to foster care homes by Child Protective Services, but Gilleylen said they appear to be in good health. Melissa Schug said Thursday afternoon she still is trying to find her granddaughters.
The case remains under investigation by the detective bureau.
Malnourished Longmont teen’s dad charged with child abuse, neglect
Denver, CO – A Longmont father faces charges following the hospitalization of his malnourished 17-year-old blind and autistic son, who was considered by doctors last week to be in a condition similar to a concentration camp survivor.
David Lawrence Hall, 52, appeared free on $50,000 bond Friday at the Boulder County Jail to be formally charged with one count of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury and one count of negligent serious bodily injury to an at-risk person. Both are felonies.
He sat beside his wife, Vanessa, also, 52, who is expected to make her first formal court appearance Sept. 20, according to the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office.
A preliminary hearing — when the court will determine if there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial — was set for Oct. 27.
The couple said they had no comment about their son’s condition and directed questions to their attorney as they left the jail courtroom Friday afternoon.
According to court records, the teen — who apparently subsisted on a diet of soda and cracker snacks, and used a bedside jug for his bathroom — was suffering from severe malnutrition and kidney failure when he was taken to Longmont United Hospital on Aug. 30 and later transferred to an Aurora hospital.
Assistant principal at Cape school accused
of dragging boy with autism
CAPE CORAL, FL – A video showing an assistant principal dragging a 6-year-old boy with autism down a hallway in nothing but his boxer shorts sparked an investigation by the Department of Children and Families and the Lee County School District’s internal affairs department.
The video, which captured the Child Abuse of the Autistic Student with Special Needs, was edited by school employees, who edited out 20 minutes of the incident.
Escambia County, Florida – Escambia County Deputies arrested Lincoln Park Primary School kindergarten teacher Brenda Morris on Thursday for allegedly committing child abuse on a developmentally delayed child. Morris was released shortly after booking.
The State Attorney’s Office charged the 68-year-old Morris with one count of child abuse without great bodily harm, which is classified as a third-degree felony.
“She was alleged to have touched the child in an illegal manner, which may constitute child abuse,” said Greg Marcille, assistant state attorney.
Escambia Deputy Superintendent Norm Ross said the alleged incident occurred Monday at the school. Lincoln Park administration notified the Florida Department of Children and Families, whose agents responded to the scene. Morris was escorted off school property.
Ross said the School District suspended Morris with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation.
“We’re at the mercy of another agency,” Ross said. “One thing people need to be made aware of is how badly these programs (such as DCF) are understaffed considering the workload these guys have.”
Marcille said he expects Morris to be arraigned in three weeks. Her case will then be put on the trial docket for two to three months after her arraignment.