Charges filed in what Sheriff Cain calls worst child abuse case

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad on August 26, 2011 by punauni

HARDIN COUNTY – The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office and Child Protective Services are investigating the death of a 4-year-old girl in what Sheriff Ed Cain and CPS spokeswoman Shari Pulliam tell KFDM News is “one of the worst child abuse cases” they’ve ever seen.

The girl weighed 32 pounds.

“That child suffered months and months of physical abuse, sexual abuse and also neglect,” Shari Pulliam with Child Protective Services told KFDM News.

Late Thursday afternoon deputies arrested the mother, Amanda Guidry, 30, and her boyfriend, Jason Delacerda, 34, on 1st Degree Felony charges of Injury to a Child. If convicted they could face up to life in prison.

Sheriff Cain says the boyfriend called 911 Wednesday night and an ambulance took the child to Christus Hospital Saint Elizabeth. She died at about midnight. Sheriff’s deputies and Child Protective Services began investigating and visited the couple’s mobile home off Highway 69 in Kountze. Investigators say there were visible signs of abuse. A preliminary autopsy shows the four-year-old girl died of blunt force trauma to the head. The autopsy report lists the preliminary manner of death as homicide. Toxicology results are pending.

Sheriff Cain said the mother and boyfriend voluntarily came to the Sheriff’s Office for questioning Thursday afternoon and were arrested following the questioning.

Shari Pulliam with CPS says investigators with her agency are shaken up after seeing what Pulliam calls abuse the girl suffered. Investigators believe it went on for nearly six months. The Sheriff and Pulliam say it’s one of the worst cases of abuse they’ve ever seen. Pulliam says nearly every one of the girl’s ribs was shattered.

“Old fractures and new fractures,” said Pulliam. “Almost every rib on this child was fractured. The child had a skull fracture, multiple cigarette burns to the chest. Large burn on her foot and both buttocks.”

Cain said the girl had “numerous bruises and burns, basically from head to toe.” The Sheriff said she was the victim of severe abuse going on the last several months. According to Cain, his office is consulting with the Hardin County District Attorney’s Office and other charges might be filed in the case.

“I’ve never seen anything this bad,” said Sheriff Cain. “Doctors agree and they’re saying it’s pretty bad. I can’t believe it went on this long without anyone bringing it to our attention.”

Cain said it hurts him to see children who are abused.

“Any time there’s a child involved, they are totally helpless. An adult can help themselves but children like this, they can’t help themselves. It’s a serious case. It’s sad, it’s tragic. This child has suffered a lot.”

Pulliam says the girl would have turned five in December. According to Pulliam, the girl was malnourished. She weighed only 32 pounds. Pulliam says that’s a definite sign of abuse. She says no calls were made to indicate any abuse was going on in the home.

“There’s no reason that could make someone do something like this to a small innocent child,” said Pulliam. “What we ask the community, if you think a child is being abused or neglected, you need to make a report to the hotline.”

The child abuse hotline number is 1-800-252-5400.

Pulliam says there are ways to prevent abuse from occurring by looking at the warning signs. They include unexplained marks or bruises on a child’s body. Neighbors and friends need to become aware if the child’s behavior changes or if the child has unexplained weight loss. If parents find it hard to control themselves out of anger, Pulliam says to step away from the situation, take time to calm down, call and talk to someone.

The couple will be booked into the Hardin County Jail, ccording to Sheriff Cain.

He’s consulting with the Hardin County District Attorney’s Office and says additional charges could be filed.

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Juliette Dunn arrested for giving 4-year-old and 10-month-old beer and cocaine

Posted in Connecticut, News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad with tags , , on August 1, 2011 by punauni

 

A Connecticut mother was arrested after she forced her 4-year-old son to chug a bottle of beer – and gave her 10-month-old daughter booze and cocaine, police said.

Juliette Dunn, 29, who lives in Success Village, Conn., was sitting with a friend Lisa Jefferson on a playground when another mom flagged down officers and complained that she was feeding her child beer, the Connecticut Post reported.

When cops approached, they spotted an empty 40-ounce Steele Reserve beer on the ground next to the 4-year-old boy and a baby bottle that smelled like alcohol.

Witnesses told officers that earlier that day Jefferson had told her son to chug the beer – and then called him an alcoholic when he finished, according to the report.

The children were taken to a local hospital where they tested positive for alcohol and the 10-month-old tested positive for cocaine.

When being interviewed by a social worker, the 4-year-old mentioned that he liked “Natural Ice beer, Budweiser beer, but didn’t like the taste of Dog-Bite beer,” police told the newspaper.
Dunn and Jefferson were arrested and charged with two counts of risk of injury to a child and two counts of second-degree assault.

They are both being held on a $100,000 bond.

Another Stripper on Drugs, Another Baby

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad with tags on August 1, 2011 by punauni

 

A woman was arrested at a strip club Tuesday night after her newborn baby was missing, officials said.  Micah Ashley Alford, 26, from League City, was apprehended at Ritz Cabaret, where she was applying for a job, investigators said.  She had a felony warrant for her arrest on charges of child endangerment and abandonment.Galveston County Precinct 8 deputy constables said they received information that Alford delivered a baby five days ago, which she eventually confirmed.Deputies said Alford’s probation was revoked when she failed a drug test when she was 5 months pregnant.  When deputies asked Alford where her baby was, she had no idea, officials said.  Shortly after police put out an alert for the baby, two women called saying they had him.  They told investigators another woman gave them the baby and he had no milk or diapers at that time, but they went and bought those items.   The women then agreed to meet officers at the Academy parking lot on Edgebrook and the Gulf Freeway Tuesday night to hand over the infant, who was fine.  Officers had been searching for the newborn for four days.  Records show that this is Alford’s fourth child and that the other three were taken away by Child Protective Services.  According to police officers and policenews.net, Alford has prior charges of DWI, child endangerment and child abandonment.  Her bond has been set at $100,000.

AWOL Soldier Had Bomb Materials

Posted in News with tags on July 28, 2011 by punauni

 

FBI agents discovered a bevy of potential bomb-making materials in the hotel room of a missing Muslim American soldier who was arrested near Fort Hood, Texas, the military base where a 2009 shooting spree killed 13 people, an FBI spokesman said Thursday.  Pfc.   Naser Jason Abdo, a Muslim American who refused to deploy to Iraq and later went AWOL after facing child pornography charges, was arrested at a traffic stop Wednesday by police in Killeen, Texas, just outside Fort Hood, said the FBI spokesman, Erik Vasys.  He is expected to face federal charges, possibly as early as Thursday afternoon, a federal law enforcement official said.  Killeen police received a call from a gun shop owner about a suspicious man in the store who was asking questions about .40-caliber ammunition and then bought three boxes of 12-gauge ammunition and a magazine for a pistol, a defense official said.  He paid cash, took a cab to a surplus store and allegedly bought a military uniform, the official said.After Abdo’s arrest, police searched his hotel room and found gunpowder, shotgun shells, 18 pounds of sugar, a pressure cooker, four magazines and ammunition, the defense official said.  A statement on the Fort Hood website acknowledged Abdo’s arrest but said it had no connection to the base.  “We are aware at this time that Killeen Police Department arrested a soldier yesterday.   The incident leading to the arrest did not occur on Fort Hood and the soldier was not a Fort Hood based soldier,” the statement said.Spokesman Chris Haug said base officials have no indication that Abdo ever tried to get onto Fort Hood between the time he went missing and the time of his arrest.  Abdo was assigned to Fort Campbell in KentuckyAbdo, who joined the infantry in 2009, refused to deploy to Iraq on grounds of his religion and had put in the paperwork to be discharged as a conscientious objector.   The Army approved his request, but on May 13, he was charged with possession of child pornography on his computer, a U.S. military official said.  At a June 15 hearing, Abdo was recommended for court martial, the official said.   He went AWOL almost immediately after that.  In an interview last year, Abdo said he refused to deploy to Iraq because he was a Muslim and had to remain true to his faith.”We have two things that I believe make us American, and that’s freedom of religion and freedom of choice,” he said.”I’ve come to the conclusion that the consequences I would face by refusing deployment are a lot less than the consequences I would face should I go.  I don’t think I would be able to live with myself if I deployed,” he said.  Another Muslim soldier, Maj. Nidal Hasan, could face the death penalty as the prime suspect in the 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood.  Hasan’s trial is set to begin March 5, 2012.  Witnesses at a preliminary hearing identified Hasan as the man who walked calmly through a medical building on the country’s largest military base, shooting and frequently reloading his handgun as he shouted “Allah Akbar,” which means “God is great” in Arabic.

Mom Faces Jail for Boarding School Bus to Save Son

Posted in News, Sad with tags , on July 27, 2011 by punauni

Last December Tara Keener did what most any mother would do when she thought her 5-year-old son was in trouble: She raced to help him. Only because it was onto a school bus that she raced, she now faces criminal charges that could potentially land her a year in jail, just for trying to save her son.

The emergency room nurse was walking down her driveway when she saw her son, Xander, slumped over in his seat and other children crowding around him. She says the children were yelling, “Help, he’s not moving. We can’t wake him up.”

When she attempted to board the bus, the driver informed her it was illegal, which is news to me, and did nothing to stop Keener from going to help her son. Wouldn’t you?

Fortunately, little Xander was just in a deep sleep, but there are plenty of things that could have been wrong to cause him to appear so despondent — choking, a concussion, or plenty of other unthinkable things. Despite her good and totally understandable intentions, the driver reported Keener to police. She was charged with unlawfully entering a school bus and is currently awaiting trial. While it’s a third-degree misdemeanor, it can come with a penalty of $2,500 and a year in jail.

Ridiculous, right? Not so. Perry County District Attorney Charles F. Chenot III told The Patriot-News:

The bus company’s main point is, we can’t let one person do this because pretty soon you’ll have all kinds of parents on there. Most parents aren’t a problem, but what do you do when a … sex offender wants to get on the bus and get his kids off? We need to have that protection in place.

Protection, yes, but a little common sense would be nice too instead of blanket policies and rules that take none into account. Hopefully a jury will see the ludicrous nature of this “offense” and realize Keener was just acting like a protective mother. I’d like to say I can’t imagine them doing anything else, but I also could have never imagined that someone would be charged just for trying to save her son.

Did you know it was illegal to board a school bus? Do you think this mother should be punished?

Calif school closed amid molestation investigation

Posted in News, People Behaving Badly, Sad with tags on July 20, 2011 by punauni

 

A California private school has been deserted and closed by the state as police investigate allegations that its principal inappropriately touched young girls for years and that at least one staff member was aware of activities but failed to tell authorities.

A complaint filed by the Department of Social Services stated that several female students said they had been touched by Robert B. Adams, principal and founder of Creative Frontiers School in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights.

“On numerous occasions, respondent Adams touched female children’s bodies under their shirts and down their pants,” the complaint said.

It went on to say that Adams — whom students referred to as “Mr. Bob” — also would “seclude female children under a computer desk and lie down with them on a mat in his office.”

Police said Adams was the focus of the investigation but had not been arrested.

“I have to point out Mr. Adams is not under arrest and an arrest warrant has not been issued,” Citrus Heights police spokesman Jon Kempf said. “Due to the sensitive nature of this investigation, we want to move slowly and cautiously.”

The campus was empty Tuesday, with a sign posted on the office saying the school had been closed by the state. Swim towels had been left hanging to dry on a wire fence near the pool, and a sign-in sheet for parents dangled on a clipboard.

Adams could not be reached at the school, or at his home in Folsom, where white garbage bags had been taped to windows on the side of the front door in an apparent attempt to prevent people from looking in.

Shades were closed at the yellow, two-story house with a wraparound front porch.

Kempf said there were more than 10 children involved but declined to say exactly how many or if they were part of the campus pre-school or elementary school.

He said police had served search warrants and seized evidence from Adams’ home and from the school that’s attended by about 180 students.

Some of the alleged incidents dated back 15 years, police said.

Adams’ attorney, Linda Parisi, said her client was saddened by the accusations.

“We’re absolutely shocked. These are completely unfounded and we’re confident that it will be clear when the investigation is over there is no foundation to the accusations,” Parisi said.

She said with the exception of one disgruntled employee, there has never been a sustained complaint made against Adams or the school, which he founded in 1975.

A former receptionist, Irma Mertens, 62, told The Sacramento Bee that she made five calls to the state before investigators took her complaints seriously. She said she quit her job in May and gave police a spiral notebook filled with notes of everything she had seen.

No one answered the door at Mertens’ home Tuesday afternoon when The Associated Press sought comment.

The Department of Social Services complaint listed an office administrator, Cynthia Higgins, as being aware of some of the allegations but failing to report anything to authorities. Attempts by the AP to reach Higgins were unsuccessful, and telephone messages left at the school over two days were not returned.

Parents said they were surprised by the allegations against Adams. Some were posting messages of support on the school’s Facebook page.

Parent Cristina Azocar said outside the school that she found the allegations difficult to believe.

“I didn’t have any bad feelings about him,” said the 43-year-old mother, whose 3½-year-old son had been in a summer daycare program at the site before it was closed.

“I actually thought he was pretty nice. The kids seemed to be attached to him and that was one of the things that sold me on the school,” she said.

Others said they were reacting cautiously until more information comes to light.

Shannon Panora was shocked to be greeted by police officers on Monday, when she arrived at Creative Frontiers to pick up her 5-year-old son from daycare. Even if the school reopens, she said she would not send her son back to the campus.

“Whether or not Mr. Adams is guilty or innocent, I can’t take that chance with my son. I can’t,” she said. “And it’s not fair to my son’s health and safety.”

Creative Frontiers School serves children in preschool up to sixth grade and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Tuition to attend for a full school year is $6,507, according to the website.

The campus is located in a middle class, suburban setting, about 20 miles northeast of the state capital has

A rally in support of Adams had been planned by his daughter Tuesday afternoon at the school, but it was postponed.

The school’s website says Adams was honored in 2008 as administrator of the year by the Professional Association for Childhood Education, a nonprofit organization for early childhood educators and professionals.

Worms With Teeth Attack Aussie Couple

Posted in News with tags on July 19, 2011 by punauni

An Australian couple is recovering after discovering they were being eaten alive by tiny worms with teeth.  The duo discovered the culprits after weeks of chronic illness, the Herald Sun reported.  They first became ill after cooking fish they had caught while camping in Western Australia, and ingesting the gnathostomiasis larvae.  It is the first time humans have been infected by the parasite in Australia.  The worms are less than 1 inch long, have sharp teeth and can work their way around the body until it dies or is killed by the immune system.  “They move under the skin and cause itchy lumps that can make you feel sick and it can be very hard to diagnose,” Dr. Andrew Fuller told the Herald Sun.   “They eat your tissues.  “The 52-year-old man told doctors he could even feel movement under his skin.  A course of antibiotics killed the parasite and the couple have recovered.