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.
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.