Benton, Arkansas – A Benton couple is behind bars after police say they abused the 9-year-old child they are foster parents to.
John Richard Huthmaker, 49, and his wife, Colleen Huthmaker, 37, were arrested in the case. John face a charge of second-degree battery, while Colleen faces a charge of permitting child abuse.
The Benton Police Department reports they were notified on August 18 about a possible child abuse case. Police say they are working with the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division to investigate.
Benton school officials told their resource officers and contacted the state child abuse hotline about the suspected child abuse case.
Authorities interviewed the Huthmaker’s about possible abuse that is said to have happened at their Benton home at 7 a.m. on Aug. 18.
John and Colleen Huthmaker were arrested after being interviewed, and taken to the Saline County Detention Center.
Officer Chavez funeral set for Sunday,
LAS CRUCES, NM – Hundreds of people are expected to gather on Sunday to give their final good bye’s to fallen Hatch Officer Jose Chavez..
Officer Chavez is expected to take his final patrol through the Village of Hatch tomorrow then proceed with his funeral in Las Cruces which is open to the public.
It’s been over a week since Chavez was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in Hatch, New Mexico. Authorities say that Jesse Hanes, a fugitive out of Ohio is responsible for Chavez’s murder.
While authorities continue to investigate the motives behind Hanes’ actions, his loved ones and colleagues are preparing for his final goodbye.
On Sunday, a group of regional law enforcement will gather near Hatch Valley High School for the funeral procession. They will then lead Chavez’s body on his final patrol through the Village of Hatch, passing by the Hatch Valley Regional Public Safety Building. From there, the motorcade will head south to Las Cruces.
Authorities are advising motorists to be cautious of temporarily closures that will occur once in Las Cruces.
The final stop for Chavez’s body will be at the pan am center.
Doors are set to open at 1 p.m., the funeral is expected to start at 3 p.m.
Those attending are expected not to bring bags, as there is a strict no bag policy.
Flowers and momentos will be accepted at a silent witness display of Officer Chavez’s police unit.
Now keep in mind if you do plan on traveling to Las Cruces for the funeral, parts of I-10 West will be closed all day.
Babysitter charged with Child Abuse after
allegedly throwing infant
IONIA, MI – An Ionia County woman is now charged with first-degree child abuse involving an 8-month-old baby.
Police say Thomas Pierson suffered three skull fractures and a brain bleed while in the care of Autumn Skuse.
Skuse was arrested Monday and charged Tuesday morning in Ionia District Court. Police say she initially told them the child had fallen.
Rachel Pierson, the baby’s mother, says Skuse was recommended to them and they interviewed her twice before hiring her.
“You would never, never, guess she would have done this to him,” Pierson said. “I still can’t believe it. He’s a great baby.”
Baby Thomas was taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where doctors told the parents the injuries were not consistent with a fall.
Pierson says Skuse contacted her over the weekend.
“She says she snapped and dropped him, Pierson said. “She said he was supposed to land on a pillow. Obviously he didn’t. She said she was abused herself as a child and she’s going to the mental health hospital.”
Skuse was given a $50,000 bond Tuesday morning.
In addition to the skull fractures, the boy had several broken ribs.
Thomas is back home with his mother and father. Rachel says they are taking his recovery one day at a time, but so far, he seems to be doing well.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Thomas’s mother if you would like to help with his recovery. On the page, his mother wrote, “Baby Thomas is home and did well last night. No seizures still… thank God! #JusticeforThomas.”
4 arrested in murder investigation; accused
of using social media to lure victim
BROOKSVILLE, FL – Detectives made four arrests in a grizzly Hernando County murder.
A man walking in the woods Sunday spotted a car with a naked body lying near it and called authorities. Deputies spent hours at the crime scene off State Road 50 in the eastern part of the county, processing the scene and gathering evidence. Their investigation revealed the victim had been in contact with three men and a woman on the dating site Plenty of Fish.
The victim has been identified as 35-year old Preston Talley, of Gainesville.
Investigators believe Talley thought he was speaking with 25-year old Kayla Morrow, of Dade City. In reality, he was communicating with 24-year old Joshual Gardner, who lived at the same address as Morrow.
“Her and Mr. Gardner and two other individuals were actually attempting to lure our victim into Hernando County … for what he thought was going to be either sexual acts and or consuming drugs, specifically methamphetamine,” Sheriff Al Nienhuis said.
Talley drove to the area and met with Morrow. The two spoke briefly before he followed her to an isolated wooded area off of the highway. There, the three other suspects were hiding and waiting.
“Our information is the minute he got out of the vehicle, one of the suspects began to hit him with a bat… (They) beat him viciously in the head to the point where he was deceased,” Nienhuis said.
Morrow, Gardner and the two other suspects, 19-year old Andrew Abbott and 24-year old Brandon Harrelson, allegedly took $20 and meth from the victim. At some point, the four allegedly removed Talley’s clothes and disposed of some of their own clothing. The sheriff believes they did so to destroy evidence.
Authorities say the suspects then left the state, heading for the Jackson, Mississippi area. After making their way back into Florida, there were arrested in the Gainesville area.
One or more of the suspects told friends or relatives what happened, detectives said. Authorities interviewed those acquaintances.
Morrow, Gardner, Abbott and Harrelson are charged with robbery and first-degree murder. They will be transported from Alachua County to the Hernando County Jail.