Monday, June 18, 2012

Dad charged with felony endangerment in death of 5-year-old daughter (Clarion, Iowa)

I have never seen it clarified what the legal arrangement was, but dad ROBERT VALENTINE JR. obviously had some sort of vistation/custodial deal. Like a lot of these dads, he promptly dumped the child on the new gal pal, who abused and killed this 5-year-old girl. Usually these guys play the dumb-and-clueless-card, and that's the end of it. Rather unusual to see one charged with endangerment.

Father charged with 2 felonies

Valentine’s dad booked for child endangerment

June 15, 2012

By BILL SHEA, Messenger News

CLARION - The father of Mikayla Valentine, a 5-year-old who died in January 2011 from what authorities called abusive head trauma, has been arrested on child abuse-related charges, according to court records.

Robert Valentine Jr., 29, of Eagle Grove, has been charged with child endangerment resulting in death and child endangerment resulting in serious injury, according to court complaints filed by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

The complaints state that the alleged offenses happened on Jan. 1, 2011. Mikayla Valentine died on Jan. 8, 2011.

The charges were filed Wednesday, and Valentine made his first appearance in court that day.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 9:15 a.m. Thursday in Wright County District Court.

Kara Crapser, 21, of Eagle Grove, is serving a 50-year prison sentence for her role in the child's death. She pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to prison on May 7.

During her sentencing hearing, a written statement from Robert Valentine Jr. was read.

"How low can a person be?" he wrote. "To murder a baby and not care. To take that life and make others believe your innocence and then waiting a year to confess."

"My daughter was a beautiful and innocent baby," he wrote.

Mikayla Valentine was the daughter of Robert Valentine Jr. and Michele Movall.

The girl was in Crapser's care in her home at 208 N. Wright Ave. in Eagle Grove, when she suffered the injuries that led to her death.

Emergency personnel were called to that home on Jan. 7, 2011, to treat the girl's injuries. She was later airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, where she died the following day.

Investigators have said little about what happened to her. The most detailed account thus far has come from her older brother, Robert Valentine III, who wrote a victim impact statement that was read during Crapser's sentencing hearing.

"You know you killed Mikayla," he wrote. "You know you threw her."

A call seeking comment from Wright County Attorney Eric Simsonson wasn't returned Friday evening.