Dad RANDALL S. WHITE has pleaded guilty to 2 class-X felony charges of aggravated battery of a child. This @$$wipe would pinch the "gurgle box" of his 7-week-old son to keep him from crying, and also inflicted multiple fractures basically from birth.
Father pleads guilty in abuse of 7-week-old child
By Len Wells
Posted March 23, 2010 at 2:18 p.m. , updated March 23, 2010 at 2:18 p.m.
ALBION, Ill. — A man who told detectives he sometimes used his thumb and forefinger to pinch his son’s “gurgle box” to stop him from crying has pleaded guilty to two class-X felony charges of aggravated battery of a child.
Randall S. White, 23, of Albion, faces up to 60 years in prison on each conviction when he is sentenced April 30 by Circuit Judge David Frankland.
In pleading guilty Tuesday, White admitted he had broken a leg and an arm of his son who was 7 weeks old at the time. Because of the age of the victim, White faces the possibility of an extended sentence of between 30 and 60 years in prison. Under Illinois’ class-X statute, White will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.
The case against White began to unfold when Fairfield (Ill.) Memorial Hospital emergency room physician, Dr. Michelle O’Neill alerted authorities after noticing on Dec. 20 that the bone in the child’s upper arm was fractured. She said the boy could not have caused the injuries on his own. He was immediately transferred to Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis for advanced care.
Investigators with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and Illinois State Police were notified of the suspected abuse and launched an investigation. At Cardinal Glennon Hospital, Dr. Ann DiMayo reportedly discovered the child also had suffered a broken thigh bone.
Two Illinois State Police detectives interviewed White at the hospital in St. Louis. Detective Holly Stroud testified that White told her that he sometimes placed his hand over the boy’s mouth to quiet him. She also testified that a medical exam of the 7-week-old child revealed he had three healing fractures — one on each arm and his right leg.
In return for the guilty plea, Edwards County State’s Attorney Michael Valentine agreed not to seek a consecutive prison sentence for White and further agreed not to file obstruction of justice charges against him for an alleged incident that only recently surfaced. Details of the alleged obstruction were not discussed in open court because the matter remains under investigation. Valentine told the court that others would likely be charged as the investigation continues.
The boy’s mother, Bethany Jo Mendenhall, 20 of Albion remains free on $300 cash bond pending trial on a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment. Investigators allege that Mendenhall “allowed her son to be placed in the immediate care and supervision of Randall White when she knew White to be causing physical injuries to the child.” Mendenhall is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on April 9.
Randall White remains in the White County jail at Carmi pending sentencing on April 30.