Friday, February 27, 2015

Dad accused of critically injuring 24-day-old daughter for crying (Evanston, Illinois)

Dad is identified as CARLOS A. JAIMES.

Evanston dad charged with critically injuring 24-day-old infant

Evanston father accused of child abuse

By Rosemary Regina Sobol
Chicago Tribune February 24, 2015, 7:06 PM

A 21-year-old father from north suburban Evanston is accused of critically injuring his 24-day-old daughter because she would not stop crying over the weekend, police said..

Carlos A. Jaimes, 21, of the 100 block of Ashland Avenue in Evanston, was charged with one count of aggravated battery to an infant, police said.

Evanston police responded to Lurie Children’s Hospital after staffers there contacted authorities at 4:30 a.m. Sunday about possible child abuse, police said.

The baby was admitted to the hospital with injuries that were not consistent with how the father said they occurred, according to a statement from Evanston police.

The infant’s father later admitted to “grabbing the infant about her midsection and shaking the baby because she would not stop crying,’’ the statement said.

The child was admitted in critical condition but is expected to survive, police said. The charge is a Class X felony.

Dad says he was insane when he fatally beat 2-month-old son (Hamilton, Ohio)

Dad is identified as AUSTIN MORRIS.

Fairfield father says he was insane when he allegedly beat infant son

Austin Morris, 23, to appear in court Wednesday

UPDATED 6:31 AM EST Feb 25, 2015

HAMILTON, Ohio —The Fairfield father charged with fatally beating his 2-month-old son says he was insane at the time of the alleged crime.

Austin Morris, 23, was originally charged with felonious assault, aggravated assault and child endangering charges, which were upgraded to include a murder charge.

Morris’ son’s mother took the child to the hospital after she said he suffered a severe head injury. The baby was then transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where he died.

Morris entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity Tuesday. His plea also asks for evaluations to determine his mental status at the time of the alleged beating.

Morris will appear before a Butler County judge Wednesday morning for arraignment on the murder charge.

Dad gets 10 years for killing infant son (Chesterfield County, Virginia)

Dad is identified as BRADLEY W. SIMMONS.

Chesterfield father sentenced to 10 years in shaken baby death of son

Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:15 pm

By MARK BOWES Richmond Times-Dispatch

A Chesterfield County father will spend 10 years behind bars for shaking his son so violently that it caused neurological devastation and eventually the boy’s death, 10 days after being hospitalized.

Judge Steven C. McCallum of Chesterfield Circuit Court imposed the maximum punishment allowed by law in sentencing Bradley W. Simmons, 23, to 10 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter in the March 23, 2013, death of Jayden W. Simmons. The judge also fined Simmons $2,500.

Jayden was 5 weeks old when authorities said Simmons shook his child with such force that it triggered cerebral and retinal hemorrhaging and a leg fracture. The child was taken to VCU Medical Center for treatment, but he died after being removed from life support after 10 days.

Chesterfield prosecutor Erin Barr said Simmons gave investigators several conflicting stories about how his son came to be injured.

He told investigators the boy had fallen off a bed after being left briefly unattended; that a bottle struck him after being knocked off a shelf into the crib; that he accidentally struck the infant in the head with a video-game controller while playing a game with the boy in his lap; and that he bumped the infant carrier on a post while they were walking.

“Ultimately after a number of interviews, he came out and admitted that he did shake him,” Barr said. “But he said that he shook him because he was unresponsive and was trying to get him to wake up.”

Had the case gone to trial, competing experts would have testified as to what the medical evidence showed, Barr said.

“Our theory was that the type of shaking that would cause these injuries was a violent shaking, and it doesn’t make any sense that someone would shake a child that violently to try to wake him up,” the prosecutor said.

Simmons, who originally was charged with second-degree murder, pleaded no contest to the reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter last August. #Both the prosecution and defense had subpoenaed physicians to testify at Monday’s sentencing hearing, but both sides agreed to stipulate each doctor’s testimony.

Simmons’ fiancee was also inside the family’s home in the 15200 block of Timsberry Circle when Jayden was injured, but she was elsewhere in the apartment at the time, Barr said. Simmons “was alone with the child.”

After the fiancee became aware of her baby’s condition, she and Simmons drove their child to the hospital but ended up stopping along the way at a nearby Chesterfield fire station. A paramedic crew transported the infant to VCU Medical Center.

Jayden was Simmons’ second child and his fiancee’s first. Simmons has a daughter from an earlier relationship, Barr said.

"Stay at home" dad in jail for abusing 3-month-old son; supposedly strangled baby for crying (St. Petersburg, Florida)

What a country. Mothers of five children--including a 3-month-old baby--forced to work to support their families while apparently deadbeat "stay-at-home" fathers like this one abuse the kids. Looks like this charming fellow basically abused this baby from birth, given the evidence of the healing injuries. The other kids say he strangled the baby for crying too. What a useless piece of crap.

But really what were the mother's options here given the cuts in social services and the high cost of daycare? Not to mention potential custody fights by this loser.

Dad is identified as NORMAN WILLIAMS.

Police: St. Pete father abused 3-month-old son

10 News Staff, WTSP 11:09 a.m. EST February 27, 2015

St. Petersburg, Florida -- A St. Petersburg man is behind bars, accused of abusing his 3-month-old son. Police say on Wednesday, the infant was brought to All Children's Hospital by his mother with what was later determined to be a broken arm.

The mother says she was at work when she got a call from her husband, 24-year-old Norman Williams, telling her their baby had fallen off the bend and appeared to be injured.

Further examination of the child revealed he also had multiple rib fractures that were in different stages of healing.

Investigators went to the Mosley Motel, where the family was staying, to speak with Williams. At the motel, police found he him in custody of five other children -- ages 1 through 8 -- two of whom had bruises all over their body.

Those children, ages 5 and 6, stated they got the injuries after Williams struck them with a belt. Two of the children also stated that they saw Williams strangle the baby victim when he wouldn't stop crying.

All children were taken into the protective custody of DCF.

Williams was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated child abuse and two counts of child abuse.

Dad charged with fracturing arm of 7-month-old baby (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)

Dad is identified as JEFFREY ALLEN BAILEY. No mention of a mother in the home.

Father charged with abuse of his 7 month old child

Posted 9:39 PM, February 25, 2015, by Howard Sheppard, Updated at 09:18pm, February 25, 2015

LANCASTER, PA (WPMT) A 22 year old Lancaster City father is charged with Child Abuse after allegedly breaking his 7 month old child’s arm.

City police and EMS responded at about 1:23 pm Wednesday to 102 Locust Street, Apartment 3 for a report of an injured child. They found the infant suffering from an apparent arm injury. The child was transported to Lancaster General Hospital, where it was discovered that the child’s arm was fractured.

Detectives determined that the child’s father, Jeffrey Allen Bailey, caused the injury. Charges against Bailey include Aggravated Assault and Endangering the Welfare of Children. Police say their investigation continues.

Dad arrested after 7-year-old son shows up at school with bruised face (Crescent City, Florida)

Dad is identified as JOSE DOLOROES RODRIQUEZ. Notice there is no mention of a mother in the home. Was there one?

Deputies: Dad made kids sleep on porch after fight

First Coast News 9:43 a.m. EST February 26, 2015

CRESCENT CITY, FL -- A father in Crescent City faces a child cruelty charge after a 7-year-old child showed up to school Tuesday with a bruise on his face, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies were called to Middleton Burney Elementary about 10 a.m. Tuesday to look into a child abuse complaint, the Sheriff's Office said. That's after the 7-year-old's older brother told teachers their father had slapped each of them in the face several times for arguing.

The children said their father forced one of them to sleep on the back porch and the other on the front porch after the argument, according to PCSO.

The father, identified by deputies as Jose Doloroes Rodriguez, was arrested and booked into the Putnam County Jail. He's being held without bond on one count of child cruelty, deputies said.

Bonds lowered for former custodial dad, step of "basement boy"; both charged with torture (Detroit, Michigan)

Last I heard, Mom had placement of the boy, though not legal custody. This suggests that she is, at minimum, a "good enough" mother. So why did this boy end up living with these sociopaths? That's the great unanswered question, and as far as I can tell, despite all the international media covering this case, no one has looked into it. Why? Who or what are they afraid of?

Dad is identified as CHARLES BOTHUELL IV.

Bonds lowered for father, stepmom of 'Basement Boy'

Holly Fournier and Tom Greenwood, The Detroit News
11:55 a.m. EST February 27, 2015

Detroit — A judge lowered bond on Friday for the father and stepmother of the 12-year-old "Basement Boy" who was found hidden in their basement last summer, 11 days after he was reported missing.

Charles Bothuell IV, and his wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, each had bond reset at $50,000, 10 percent. If they make bail, they must wear a GPS tether and have no contact with children, Judge Shannon Holmes said. #Bond for the couple previously was set at $500,000 cash/surety.

Bothuell IV also is prohibited from contacting the mother of the alleged victim, Charlie Bothuell V. #The couple was charged last week with one count of torture and child abuse in the second degree, which is punishable by up to life in prison.

According to police reports, the couple reported Charlie missing on June 14 from their home in the 1300 block of Nicolet Place.

Eleven days later on June 25, a sergeant from the Michigan State Police and a special agent from the FBI found the boy hidden behind boxes in the basement of his home.

The discovery was made after three previous searches, including the use of cadaver sniffing dogs. Police said Charlie appeared to be very thin and had marks on his upper body.

The two were in court Friday for a probable cause hearing at which counsel had a lengthy sidebar to discuss discovery that was submitted to the defendants' previously assigned attorneys. Holmes gave counsel until Monday to turn discovery over to new counsel.

In arguing for lower bond, attorneys for both defendants argued their clients do not have the means to flee. The prosecutor said the offenses charged are violent enough for high bails. #After the judge lowered bond, she set an indigency hearing for March 6 to discuss Bothuell IV's income and to determine if he will require financial help in his defense.

A preliminary exam is scheduled for March 27.

Bothuell IV's attorney, Farris Haddad, said following the hearing he now believes his client will make bail.

"The bond reduction is a very good first step," he said. "The charges are absolutely ludicrous; even the evidence the prosecution has shows that he's innocent."

The prosecutor's office alleges the boy's father and stepmother physically abused him on a systematic basis, denied him food, did not allow him to socialize with others, and forced him to engage in an "extreme and unreasonable exercise regime."

"We are thankful that the victim was found alive," Worthy said in a press release. "This is the first time that the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office has charged torture for a living child. Based upon the allegations, if any case warrants child torture charges, this one certainly does."

The story of the missing "Basement Boy" made headlines both nationally and internationally due to its bizarre nature.

The story became even stranger on June 25 during a broadcast of the "Nancy Grace" show in which Grace broke the news to Bothuell IV that his son had been found in the basement of his home.

Bothuell IV appeared stunned at the news, held up his hands in amazement and appeared to hyperventilate as his eyes darted back and forth.

"What? What?" Bothuell IV said.

When asked how his son ended up in the basement, Bothuell IV said, "I have no idea."

And then on June 27, Dillard-Bothuell appeared in court on a probation violation charge stemming from an earlier illegal purchase of a gun. She was jailed overnight and released on June 28. In August, the charges were dropped for lack of evidence.

Alcoholic dad jailed on felony child abuse after 16-year-old son records abuse on mac; even step can't stand his drunken tirades any more--so what happened to mom? (Palm Coast, Florida)

At MINIMUM, this violent alcoholic had custody/visitation, since there is mention of a stepmother in the home. At worst, ANTHONY SCHNEIDER is a custodial father. Which is it?

Of course, the media refuses to 1) clarify what happened to the mother, or 2) look into why this boy was in his father's home or how he got there. Was this the decision of a family court judge? Is the mother deceased? Did she leave the father? What? You can bet that dollars for donuts, Daddy meted out the same treatment to the erased mother.

Father Jailed on Felony Child Abuse After 15-Year-Old Films Beating and Abuse on Mac

FlaglerLive | February 26, 2015

Palm Coast authorities have arrested a string of parents this month on child abuse charges: a mother for Tasing her 15-year-old son, the 30-year-old guardian of a 15-year-old girl for allegedly raping her over several years, and the 38-year-old father of a 14-year-old girl for allegedly torturing her. On Wednesday, Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the father of a 16-year-old boy who, using his computer, captured video of his apparently drunk father abusing him verbally and physically, though the man says his son had insulted him.

Anthony Schneider, 42, of Royal Leaf Lane in Palm Coast, was jailed on a charge of felony child abuse and ordered to have no contact with his child and to submit to a pre-trial supervision order from the court. His arraignment is scheduled for March 30 before Circuit Judge J. David Walsh.

The 16-year-old was sitting at the end of his driveway, visibly upset and shaking, when a sheriff’s deputy arrived at the scene mid-afternoon Wednesday. The boy told the deputy that when he came home from school, he found Schneider, his father, passed out on his (the boy’s) bedroom floor. He asked his father why he was passed out. Schneider, according to the boy, replied something to the effect of “I have the flu” and began to gag. His son asked him to “please get out of his room,” according to the police report, “because he did not want to clean up” after his father.

Schneider at that point “became verbally and physically abusive,” according to the report, telling his son–in the son’s recollection–“let’s go outside and I will beat your ass,” and “I will beat the breaks off of you boy.” The boy told his father that he would defend himself from physical contact that he does not deserve, but that the confrontation became hostile when his father slapped him in the back of the neck, and calling him “soft” and a “big girl.” When the boy attempted to leave the house, Schneider followed him down the street “and would not leave him alone, trying to instigate a fight,” the report states.

The boy recorded the confrontation on his Apple Notebook (the Flagler school district has distributed free notebooks to all district high school students). “It is very clear in the video that Anthony is verbally and physically abusive towards [the boy] without merit,” the deputy reported in the arrest affidavit. “Anthony is antagonizing [his son] throughout the video by poking him in the head, pushing him and at one point slapping in the back of the head. During the video you can’t see the slap, but you can clearly hear a smack on the video and reaction to the slap. Throughout the video you can see place his arms and hands in a defensive posture, because he is clearly afraid of the physical abuse his father is threatening toward him. In the video you can also see [the 16 year old] clearly afraid and trying to avoid confrontation with his father.”

When the deputy spoke with Schneider, he noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from him, saw his “bloodshot and glassy eyes and his speech was thick tongued and slurred.” #Schneider said he was in a bedroom when his son told him “fuck you,” prompting him to smack the boy in back of the head because he was being disrespectful. “He comes along and goes as he pleases and he never calls him,” the father told the deputy of his son, adding, “as a grown man if somebody talks to you like that, you handle it.”

The deputy also spoke with the boy’s stepmother, saying that the boy came home from school at about 2:30 p.m., heard him ask his father to get up, heard Schnider say he was “going to puke,” and then heard the next statement from the boy: “Why did you hit me?” She said she could not handle the fighting anymore, that Schneider would not leave the boy alone or let him walk away, but rather threatening the boy that he was going to hurt him. Schneider, she told the cop, was “extremely intoxicated” from a “severe drinking problem,” having started to drink that morning at 6:30 a.m.

The Department of Children and Families was contacted after Schneider was arrested and transported to the Flagler County jail, from where he has since been released. The jail log online shows no bond.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Judge admits to secret communication with attorney giving father custody (Evans, Georgia)

These kinds of shenanigans are distressingly common. Even in my case, the guardian ad litem, Sandra Fischer Swanson, routinely shared documents with the ex's attorney while "forgetting" to send them to mine. That was in Chautauqua County, New York. And I have known of cases like this one, where the mother lost custody in a secret ex parte hearing. It happened to a very good friend of mine.

Judge admits to secret communication with attorney about custody order

Posted: Feb 24, 2015 8:26 PM EST Updated: Feb 24, 2015 10:15 PM EST

By Nick Lulli

EVANS, GA (WFXG) - New developments tonight in the child custody case we've been following since last June involving a local judge being looked into by the judicial qualifications committee.

First, the Georgia appeals court said that judge misinterpreted law when he denied a Columbia County mother custody. Then, he said he would consider removing himself from the case because the mother's attorney said he was biased against her.

But, according to court records Judge Daniel "Danny" Craig didn't do that; instead, he suspended all visitation rights of the mom in addition to admitting to secret communications outside the courtroom with the dad's attorney, which allowed the father to arrange the kids' removal from the state. Plus, the two independent custody experts on the case said the mom posed no danger to the children.

Julia Bloodworth, the most recent guardian ad litem on the case, who has two decades worth of experience with children, in an affidavit said the judge coordinated his plans with the father's attorney to remove the children from Augusta, without the mom, the guardian, or her attorney even knowing the kids were gone from school.

The Columbia County mother is revealing her face because she wants the community to understand what she calls injustice.

In a September order, Judge Craig said her children's expression of being “afraid and concerned” to live with their mom was “comparatively profound."

But Judge Craig never presented any evidence in his order of physical or emotional abuse, and the guardian ad litem said she never saw any either.

"No, no, I was not abusing our children," said the mother. "We had a guardian ad litem. She says in her affidavit she spent more time working with our family then any other in her two decades of experience, and there was no concern by her.”

Days after the the most recent order, guardian Julia Bloodworth filed an affidavit with the court.

In it – she said, “In all of my conversations with them, including many phone calls with [the son], neither of the children ever acted or sounded as if they were afraid of their mother or concerned for their personal welfare at their mother's home.” In addition, Bloodworth said it may have been the father who was “manipulating” them through the use of parental alienation - allegations the father's attorney denies.

Bloodworth said she wasn't involved in the drafting of the order at all, which she feels, may go against her contract and order written and signed by the very same judge.

"The guardian who knew our family wasn't allowed to speak," said the mother. "She wasn't heard. And that was the whole point of her being assigned to our case."

In the order, Judge Craig admits to calling one of the the father's three attorney days before the order was issued to make sure the father would be in Augusta for the execution of the order, which would allow him to move the children to Ohio, denying the mom a hearing that's required under Georgia law. $I asked the mom, "the guardian ad litem didn't know? You didn't know? Only your ex-husband's attorneys?"

“And Judge Danny Craig," said mom said.

But Judge Craig signed a certificate of service swearing he'd served all parties with his order before filing it with the clerk's office. The clerk's office time stamp shows it being clocked in at 11:50 in the morning, while Judge Craig's fax time stamp shows it didn't get sent to the mom's attorney until nearly three and a half hours later.

"Our children were already gone out of school, before my attorney was notified," said the mother. "We didn't know. We were the last to know."

That's right: the mom sent her kids to school, and she didn't know they were gone until they didn't get off the school bus.

"[I am] stunned, even though so much has happened that didn't seem right," the mother said. "It's still shocking that it was this blatant."

Judge Craig said he can't comment on this case because it's an active case.

But one of the attorney's for the surgeon ex-husband did agree to speak on the case during an on the record meeting at her Augusta law firm.

Barbara Barnett 'Bobi' Claridge disagrees with the assertion her behavior is considered improper because during the phone call the judge only said:

“Have your client here on a date certain; tell me what that day is.”

Claridge said she was not aware the judge didn't make the same phone call to the mom's attorney.

“I do not know if he did or did not relate that information to Ms. Portnoy," said Claridge.

I then asked if she knew the children were gone before the mom's side even knew; Claridge said she did.

“I was aware the order was issued, my client was told to pick them, and did so," said Claridge.

Upon further investigation into this case, we found in court documents that a previous psychologist guardian also hired by Judge Craig to determine custody for the same children in this case also recommended the children remain in the mother's care.

According to the final divorce order in that case, Judge Craig also “found” that there was no evidence in favor of the mom, thereby totally denying the existence of that psychologist which he had appointed.

Custodial dad, step arrested for abusing 12-year-old daughter; girl in critical condition (The Netherlands)

I don't pick up a lot of stories from the Netherlands, but in format, it is virtually indistinguishable from the stories we see in every other country. Custodial dad and step misrepresented as "parents." Zero mention of the mother or how Dad acquired custody. No interest in whether a father who did this to the kids was equally capable of doing something to their mother. No curiosity as to how she "disappeared" from the picture.

But we do see an interesting hint here in that that the step's involvement in a child "protection" agency (i.e. abuser protection agency) may have helped them get away with this for so long.


Parents of girl in critical condition arrested

Posted on Feb 25, 2015 by Hanna Daych

A seriously injured 12-year old girl from Roelofarendsveen, Zuid-Holland, who was taken to a hospital last week, was abused for years by her father and stepmother, according to the family’s neighbors, an report reveals. Both are suspected of abuse and neglect and are being held in custody. The father will face a magistrate on Friday.

The girl was in a critical condition last Monday and had to be resuscitated four times before being transported to hospital, neighbors comment. When doctors noticed serious wounds not caused by CPR, the hospital notified police. The girl remains in an unstable condition, the broadcaster said.

Neighbors on Geestweg say that they have repeatedly reported problems with the family to child care authorities and emergency services. They say the brother of the abused girl was often locked in a shed and made to stay on the street in his underpants with tape over his mouth as a punishment. The children were systematically beaten and did not get enough food.

The case has lead to unrest, since the stepmother is the Vice Chairman of a child protection organization.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dad charged with aggravated assault of 3-month-old son (York County, Pennsylvania)

Typical case where Mom had to work outside the home to support the family, while the short-tempered father played infant caretaker--badly.

Dad is identified as MICHAEL ANDREW MOSTICK.

West Manchester Township father charged with shaking, injuring infant son

Michael Mostick is charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child

By Teresa Boeckel
Updated: 02/23/2015 11:03:16 PM EST

A West Manchester Township man has been charged with shaking his infant son, resulting in serious injuries, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Michael Andrew Mostick, 41, of the 2400 block of Heather Road, has been charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children. He remains in York County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Emergency responders were called to the Mostick residence Feb. 7 for an unresponsive 3-month-old boy as the result of a fall, court papers state. The child's mother was at work at the time. Mostick told a dispatcher that he had fallen because the family's yellow Lab, Jake, bumped into him. After they fell, he told police, the baby cried and all of the sudden became unresponsive, court papers state.

The child was taken to York Hospital, but a CAT scan did not show anything, police said. #The following day, the mother told police, the infant became fussy and would not sleep or eat very well. He also vomited. In the early morning hours of Feb. 9, she contacted the pediatrician's office, and the answering service advised her to go to the emergency room with the child.

While the mother was at the hospital with the child, he began to have seizures, the affidavit states. The child was transported to Hershey Medical Center.

Tests at Hershey Medical Center showed that the child had bleeding on the brain and blood behind the eyes, causing him to not respond to light, the affidavit states. An attending physician also reported the boy's brain had been deprived of oxygen.

Police allege Mostick gave at least three different accounts on how he fell down the steps with his son, the affidavit states. In one case, Mostick said he fell on the child. In another, he said the baby's head hit the wall while falling down the steps. In another, he indicated that while falling down the steps, he grabbed his son around the throat. "Each account is different and he is inconsistent," police wrote in the charging documents.

An expert in pediatric injuries and child abuse at Hershey Medical Center said the boy's injuries were consistent with shaken-baby syndrome, police said. The doctor said none of the father's explanations were consistent with baby's injuries. When an infant is shaken violently, physical symptoms and injuries are almost immediate, the doctor said.

Police said the father was the only person who had access to the baby at the time the injuries occurred.

The boy is no longer in the hospital, Detective David Bixler said Monday afternoon.

"At this point, the child is doing better," he said, but added that the long-term effects of his injuries remain uncertain.

Custodial dad, step get life in prison for murder of 3-year-old son (Dodge County, Georgia)

Utter silence on how custodial dad DAVID EDWARD SMITH gained custody and who gave it to him. It also sounds like the mother did not have visitation, or she would have been aware of the extent of the abuse. It is not uncommon for this to happen with severely abusive custodial fathers--it's a way to exercise their abuse/control/punishment thing over the mother while also avoiding any interference in their battering of the victim.

Dodge County dad, girlfriend get life in boy’s murder

By JOE KOVAC JR. February 23, 2015

A Dodge County father and the live-in girlfriend he met online were sentenced to life in prison Monday in the child-abuse death of the father’s 3-year-old son.

The boy, Zackory Dean Smith-Chick, died last March of what a medical examiner described as extensive “inflicted trauma” over a period of about two weeks.

Blows to the head and skeletal injuries contributed to the child’s death. Both his legs were broken at the thigh.

The boy’s father, David Edward Smith, 31, and the father’s girlfriend, Kaiko Smith, 32, pleaded guilty to felony murder on Monday. They also pleaded guilty to a child-cruelty charge.

Though they share a last name, the pair were not married. They met on the Internet in early 2013. David Smith, who had custody of Zackory, was then staying with his mother west of Atlanta, and Kaiko Smith lived in upstate New York. Records linked to her name list the email handle “AsianLove9999.”

Later that year, David Smith moved Kaiko Smith and her two children, ages 12 and 15, to Georgia. In January of last year, along with Zackory, they settled in a mobile home on the outskirts of Eastman. The boy’s mother and maternal kin lived in the area.

His fatal injuries happened about the time of his third birthday last February.

By the time anyone called for help on March 14, Zackory was near death. He died at the county hospital soon after being taken there by ambulance.

Kaiko Smith later admitted striking Zackory, likely with her hands, Oconee Circuit District Attorney Tim Vaughn said Monday.

There was no evidence the child was struck with a weapon.

“There is no explanation,” Vaughn said. “She just did it.”

The boy’s father was charged because he failed to intervene.

“(The father) was there every day, in and out, and he did nothing to protect the child,” Vaughn said. “And he did nothing to seek medical aid for the child until it was too late.”

When investigators searched Kaiko Smith’s cellphone, they found a video where she had recorded an obviously injured Zackory.

In the clip, as if toying with him, she prodded him to crawl into bed under his own power, Vaughn said. “He was screaming in anguish because he had two broken legs.”

The Smiths said nothing in court Monday when given the chance.

Though they were arrested in Dodge County last year, they have been locked up in a neighboring county much of the time.

“We’ve had to put them in another jail,” Vaughn said, “because the inmates here were not happy with them.”

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dad admits killing 27-day-old son (Bunbury, Australia)

My goodness. With all the sympathy talk for UNNAMED DAD, you would think he was the one who had been battered and killed. Rather than the young man who admits assaulting a newborn baby and killing him.

Bunbury teenage dad, 16, admits killing baby son 
  PerthNow February 23, 2015 12:44PM

A Bunbury teenager has admitted fatally injuring his baby son and will be sentenced next month.

THE teenage father of a newborn baby who died after being assaulted in a South West hospital has admitted killing his young son.

The 16-year-old Bunbury boy will be sentenced next month. The teen pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing his son in February last year.

The baby was injured while in Bunbury Regional Hospital and died a few days later in Princess Margaret Hospital in his mother’s arms.

Detectives from the Major Crime Squad initially charged the teen with a serious assault, alleging that about 7.20pm on Saturday, February 15, he assaulted the 27-day-old boy at the Bunbury Regional Hospital.

The charge was upgraded after the child died.

At the time of the baby’s death the teenage mother told how her baby died in her arms, taking to social media to express her grief. “Omg what do i do sitinq here so lost missing my son rip mummys boy love you to the moon nd bak,” she wrote.

“You Went In My Arms I Lovee Yhu So Much.”

Department of Child Protection and Family Support director general Terry Murphy confirmed at the time that the boy died in PMH with his family at his bedside.

Mr Murphy said the teen father was receiving legal and psychological assistance and was determined the accused boy would still be treated like a “human being” despite the shocking allegations against him.

``The father remains in state care, I am his guardian and therefore I have arranged legal representation for him,’’ Mr Murphy told ABC radio. ``Psychological support for him at the moment is also critical.

``He is charged with horrendous crimes, but he is a still a young person with his own history of serious damage. He still needs to be treated like a human being.’’

Dad charged with capital murder in death of 6-month-old daughter (Shelby County, Texas)

As often happens, the media implies that both parents were equally violent and deadly. But a close reading reveals that it was dad WILLIAM BRYCE MOORE who is charged with the actual murder. Mom is essentially being charged with being afraid of the father.

Both mother and father have been charged in death of Tenaha baby

Posted: Feb 20, 2015 12:34 PM EST Updated: Feb 20, 2015 11:47 PM EST

By Gary Bass
By Blair Ledet

SHELBY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Less than a week after the Shelby County Sheriff's office announced that it was investigating the death of Ariana Moore, a 6-month-old baby girl from Tenaha, SCCO deputies arrested the child's father on a capital murder charge.

They have now arrested Ariana's mother, 25-year-old Angela Marie Moore, on criminal negligent charges. Angela is in Shelby County Jail with a $50,000 bond set for the state jail felony.

After William Bryce Moore was booked into the Shelby County Jail on Thursday, Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Marla Denby arraigned him on a capital murder charge and ruled that he shouldn't be granted a bail amount.

According to a press release, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office dispatch received a 911 call at about 3:49 a.m. Monday about the baby being found unresponsive at a home in the Kyle Palmer Trailer Park on County Road 4356 in Tenaha.

Ariana was transported to the NMC-Center Hospital by ACE EMS, and was later pronounced dead by Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Maxie Eaves, who also ordered that an autopsy be performed on the baby's body.

According to the arrest affidavit, Shelby County Sheriff's Office investigators went to Moore's home after Ariana died and collected evidence, including a bottle nipple with blood on it and blankets.

When the investigators spoke to Moore the first time, he said that he and his wife loaded their children in the car, so they could take the trash to the dumpster, the affidavit stated. He allegedly told the investigators that they returned to their home, Ariana, who wasn't strapped in to her car seat, fell out of the seat, rolled down the stairs, and landed on her face.

The affidavit stated that Moore told the investigators that his wife picked Ariana up, took her inside, cleaned her up, and gave her a baby bottle. He also told them that his wife got up in the middle of the night to turn the heat off and found Ariana lying lifeless in her crib, the affidavit stated. #Moore allegedly told the investigators that he tried performing CPR on Ariana.

Then the investigators interviewed Moore's wife and found that although their stories were basically the same, there were inconsistencies.

According to the affidavit, the autopsy revealed that Ariana had no external injuries that seemed consistent with a fall. In addition, the baby girl's onsie didn't have any dirt on it, and the trailer park's surveillance footage showed that they never left to go to the dumpster like they said.

The SCCO investigators learned from the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy that Ariana had suffered injuries to her liver, diaphragm, colon, and spleen that were consistent with blunt force trauma, the affidavit stated.

At first, Moore allegedly told the investigators that he had “stretched' the truth and that they never took the trash to the dumpster and repeated his original version of the story - that Ariana had fallen out of her car seat.

During the investigators' second interview with Moore's wife, when she was faced with what they had learned, she started crying and said that she didn't want to get in trouble.

According to the affidavit, Moore's wife told one of the investigators that she heard their daughter crying at about 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 15. The woman said after she told her husband to go and give Ariana a bottle, he was obviously “agitated” and was yelling for their daughter to quit crying, the affidavit stated.

The woman told the investigators that she saw Moore strike Ariana with his fist while the baby was lying in her crib, the affidavit stated.

After the investigators confronted Moore with the inconsistencies in the stories and the autopsy results, he allegedly admitted to hitting Ariana and demonstrated by hitting the stomach area of a baby doll with his closed fist.

The affidavit stated that Moore told the investigators he wasn't sure how many times he hit his daughter.

Dad convicted of voluntary manslaughter in death of 8-week-old daughter (Vista, California)

Dad is identified as LEE TRAHAN.

Dad guilty of assault in baby's death
Jury finds Marine responsible for baby's death, though he may not have intended to kill her

By Dana Littlefield1:33 p.m.Feb. 20, 2015Updated3 p.m.

VISTA — A jury determined Friday that a former Miramar Marine was responsible for the injuries that led to his infant daughter’s death nearly three years ago, even though he may not have intended to kill her.

Lee Trahan, 27, was charged with second-degree murder and other felonies in the 2012 death of his daughter Willow. He contended in trial that he had accidentally knocked the baby’s head against a door frame as he prepared to feed her one morning.

Prosecutors contended, however, that something else — some kind of abuse — had caused Willow’s injuries. And they argued that both Trahan and his wife, Jessica, failed to take their baby to a hospital until it was too late.

After deliberating about two days, a Vista Superior Court jury acquitted Lee Trahan of murder, but found him guilty of a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.

The panel also found him guilty of assault on a child causing great bodily injury or death, a charge that carries a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

The jury acquitted Jessica Trahan, 32, of a felony charge, opting instead to find her guilty of misdemeanor child neglect. #A sentencing hearing for both defendants is scheduled for April 10.

Deputy District Attorney Michelle Ialeggio argued in trial that the Trahans were not bad people, but that something was going on in their Escondido home that friends, colleagues and other family members didn’t know about. She said the couple was overwhelmed by the demands of caring for Willow and her twin brother, who were born six-weeks premature. Willow was about 8 weeks old when she died.

Jessica Trahan also has a young daughter from a previous relationship.

“I think when anyone saw these two parents, the outside picture seemed perfect,” the prosecutor said outside the courtroom Friday, adding that she understood how it may be hard to believe the Trahans harmed their child.

The case was complicated, she said, but the evidence was there. A deputy medical examiner testified that the baby died of blunt-force trauma, injuries that were too severe to be accidental.

“(The jury’s) verdict delivers justice to Willow,” Ialeggio said.

Jurors declined to be interviewed.

The two defense lawyers were visibly disappointed after the verdicts, despite the acquittals and convictions on lesser charges.

Attorney Janice Deaton said Jessica Trahan knows she made a mistake by not taking Willow to the hospital immediately after the door frame incident, when the baby slipped from her husband's grasp, according to his testimony.

“It’s something she thinks about every day,” Deaton said. “I think she is a great mom. I cannot emphasize that enough.”

The mother had tears in her eyes as she left the courtroom. “Her reaction was about Lee,” Deaton said. “He’s going to be an old man before he gets out of prison.”

Although the jury found Lee Trahan guilty of manslaughter, it’s the assault charge in this case that carries the harsher penalty. A conviction on second-degree murder alone would have resulted in a shorter prison term: 15 years to life.

“He’s trying to process it,” said Brian J. White, Trahan’s lawyer. “He doesn’t know what hit him.”

White said he planned to explore all available options for his client before sentencing and, if necessary, on appeal.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dad murders 13- and 17-year old daughters (Westchester County, New York)

The killer dad is identified as GLEN HOCHMAN.

Retired White Plains Police Officer Said to Kill 2 Daughters and Himself


A retired police officer in White Plains shot and killed two of his children on Saturday before committing suicide, according to a local newspaper.

Glen Hochman, 52, and two of his daughters, Alissa, 17, and Deanna, 13, were found at their Adelphi Avenue home early Saturday, according to the newspaper, The Journal News.

“The department is shocked and horrified by the news of this unfathomable tragedy,” David Chong, the commissioner of the White Plains Department of Public Safety, said in a statement to the newspaper.

Mr. Hochman was a police officer for the city of White Plains for 22 years, according to the statement.

In a statement posted on the Harrison Central School District’s website, Louis N. Wool, the superintendent of schools, called the shooting an “incomprehensible tragedy.”

In May 2014, Mr. Hochman was a recipient, along with other officers, of the Lifesaving Award through the public safety department.

The killings were first reported by News 12 in Westchester County.

Dad charged with 1st-degree murder in beating death of 3-month-old daughter (Pinellas Park, Florida)

Dad is identified as STEVEN DYKES.

Pinellas sheriff: Father killed baby daughter


Published: February 21, 2015 | Updated: February 21, 2015 at 08:23 PM

PINELLAS PARK — The late-night cries of a 3-month-old girl were met with a brutal beating at the hands of her father, resulting in the infant’s death at a Pinellas Park home, law enforcement officials say.

Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies charged Steven Dykes, 44, with first-degree murder Saturday after several days of investigation into the death of his daughter, Olivia, who was found dead early Thursday morning with multiple skull fractures, cuts and severe bruising.

“He slammed her to the point where it fractured her skull in several places,” Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said at a Saturday afternoon news conference.

The act of violence that Gualtieri called one of the most heinous he had seen against a young child comes less than seven weeks after police accused a Tampa man of tossing his 5-year-old daughter off the Dick Misener Bridge along the approach to the Sunshine Skyway.

Unlike that case involving John Jonchuck, though, Dykes has no history of mental illness; nor were there indications he might be abusive, the sheriff said.

Olivia’s mother, Melissa Schroll, 33, apparently had asked Dykes to feed and comfort the infant around midnight Thursday after the baby woke up fussy in the room the couple shared with her and their 21-month-old son, Bryce, at a home on 71st Street North.

When Olivia awoke again, Dykes took her out of the bedroom into the living room.

The next morning, Schroll had stepped outside the house when Dykes came bursting out holding the infant, shouting, “She’s dead,” Gualtieri said.

The couple called 911 and EMS rescuers attempted CPR on the girl, who had visible injuries and appeared lifeless.

Olivia was pronounced dead after being transported to St. Petersburg General Hospital.

Although Dykes told investigators he had harmed the girl, he denied beating her and offered statements about the previous night that contradicted Schroll’s account, authorities reported.

Rather than immediately name Dykes a suspect, deputies monitored him as he stayed the night Thursday at the Pinellas Safe Harbor homeless shelter in Clearwater and Friday at a St. Petersburg motel.

While ordering a prescription for Xanax pills Saturday, Dykes reportedly told someone he was “sorry for what he did” and blamed the child’s death on the drugs, according to a conversation recorded by deputies.

Deputies arrested Dykes Saturday afternoon outside the Pinellas Park home where the couple had been renting a room.

A medical examiner found Olivia had skull fractures and a brain hemorrhage. Bruises on her legs and feet indicate she was grabbed by the legs and slammed into something, Gualtieri said.

“He probably got very frustrated and slammed this kid, really slammed her,” the sheriff said.

Schroll and another man who owns the home and was sleeping in a different bedroom said they heard nothing that night.

Schroll was cooperative with investigators and isn’t suspected of any wrongdoing.

Schroll and Dykes’ son, Bryce, has been placed in the custody of his grandparents in Tarpon Springs.

Dykes has a criminal history, including drug charges, though never any abuse charges nor complaints that would have led investigators to anticipate what happened. Gualtieri said.

“They were not on anybody’s radar,” he said.

Both Schroll and Dykes were unemployed and apparently under significant financial strain, Gualtieri said.

Florida’s Department of Children and Families will conduct a review of the child’s death, which is standard policy, but the agency had no prior contact with Dykes, according to a statement released by the agency Saturday evening.

Killer dad gets legal aid money to fight for child custody (United Kingdom)

Daddy X--the latest fathers rights poster child.

Killer who murdered his wife is granted legal aid worth thousands of pounds for custody battle over her four children
Man, identified only as X, murdered his wife and mother of four children
Killing was 'particularly horrible' and X was given a life sentence for murder
He has refused to take a paternity test to prove he is father of the children
Council and children's guardian applied to use his DNA for paternity test B
ut Court of Appeal has overturned decision and said it cannot be used Judges said using crime scene DNA would damage integrity of database

By Claire Carter for MailOnline
Published: 04:11 EST, 22 February 2015 | Updated: 10:55 EST, 22 February 2015

A killer who murdered his wife has been granted legal aid to fight for custody of her four children.

The man, known only as X, is serving a life sentence for the 'particularly horrible' murder of the children's mother and has refused to have a paternity test to prove he is their father.

Judges at the Court of Appeal upheld a decision that DNA collected from the murder scene could not be used to prove paternity, so the issue of his and his family's access to the children - aged between three and nine - will be decided without this evidence.

The case began when the local authority and children's legal guardian challenged the decision by Theresa May, the home secretary, and the police not to allow the DNA to be used to prove paternity, the Sunday Times reported.

The man is not named on any of the children's birth certificates. Sir James Munby, president of the family division of the High Court, initially allowed the application and ruled that the DNA could be used to determine paternity.

He said: 'One cannot ignore the enormous implications for these children of what happened to their mother. 'Their futures will be indelibly marked by it. They need to know if the man who murdered their mother, the man who they believe to be their father, is in truth their father.'

But after the ruling was challenged the Court of Appeal overturned Sir James Munby's decision.

The judges said allowing evidence gathered from the crime scene to be used would damage the integrity of the DNA database.

David Green, director of Civitas, a think tank, branded the case 'extraordinary.'

He added: 'For the sake of the long-term care of the children and the feelings of the wife's family he should not be allowed any continuing role in their upbringing.'

Friday, February 20, 2015

Custodial dad, step charged with torture for abuse, imprisonment of 12-year-old son (Detroit, Michigan)

Custodial dad identified as CHARLES BOTHUELL IV. Back in July, we reported that the non-custodial mom had temporary placement and was trying to get permanent custody back.

Father and stepmom charged with torture and abuse after they 'locked 12-year-old son in basement for 11 days' and claimed he was missing

Charlie Bothuell V, 12, 'vanished' from his dad's Detroit home in June 2014
Father and stepmom reported him missing and he was found by police in the basement of the building the couple was living in 11 days later
Prosecutors say that parents systematically physically abused the child
Police were told by the boy that stepmother Monique Dillard-Bothuell hid him in the basement with no food or water
The Bothuells have each been charged with torture and child abuse
This is the first time Wayne County Prosecutor's Office has charged torture for a living child

By Kelly Mclaughlin For and Associated Press
Published: 08:45 EST, 20 February 2015 | Updated: 13:52 EST, 20 February 2015

Prosecutors have brought torture and child abuse charges against the father and stepmother of a 12-year-old Detroit boy who was found in his father's basement last year after an 11-day disappearance.

Charles Bothuell IV, 46, and Monique Dillard-Bothuell, 37, systematically physically abused the child, forced him to live in the basement and didn't allow him to socialize, Wayne County prosecutors said.

The boy, Charlie Bothuell V, was found by police in the basement of his family's condominium on June 25, 2014, - 11 days after he was reported missing by his father and stepmom.

Detroit police arrested the Bothuells this morning, the prosecutor's office said. They have each been charged with one count of torture, punishable by up to life in prison, and second-degree child abuse, which carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

Charlie Bothuell IV and Monique Dillard-Bothuell systematically physically abused the child, forced him to live in the basement and didn't allow him to socialize, Wayne County prosecutors said.

Bothuell, a nurse, had made tearful pleas on TV for his son's return and later said he was ‘shocked’ when the boy was found in the basement.

Charlie was deprived of food and forced to engage in an 'extreme and unreasonable exercise regime,' Prosecutors said in a statement.

He ‘has experienced physical abuse by his father... for the entire two years he has resided in Mr. Bothuell's residence,’ the Department of Human Services said in a court filing.

‘The abuse included being physically disciplined with a PVC pipe on his butt, feet, chest, head, thighs, sides and arms... He was often too sore to sit or walk.’

But Charlie told caseworkers that his stepmother ordered him to the basement on June 14, 2014 because she believed he had not completed one of his twice-a-day workouts.

His workout regime included 100 pushups, 200 situps, 100 jumping jacks, 25 arm curls with a 25-pound weight and thousands of revolutions on an elliptical machine.

Charlie said his stepmom, who has two other children, told him, ‘Shut up, stay quiet and don't say anything no matter what you hear!’

Charlie said Dillard-Bothuell told him at times, ‘I know where the sharp knives are... I can make you disappear.’

Charlie was discovered in the cramped basement behind a makeshift barrier of boxes. Confusingly, FBI agents previously searched the basement, even using specially trained cadaver dogs.

It then emerged there was an underground tunnel easily accessible from the basement, connecting the other condos in the block and leading outside the building.

The tunnel’s outside door is usually locked and only accessible to maintenance men, but crucially, it was left open during the time he was in the resident because residents were getting rid of a build-up of trash in a dumpster left outside.

That means Charlie could have left the property in the day, before returning at night, explaining why FBI agents could not find the boy.

Court documents apparently state that Charlie has claimed he even snuck upstairs for food when the house was empty.

The father and stepmother earlier denied any abuse took place.

The state Department of Human Services has said the father later acknowledged striking his son with a PVC pipe.

They added in a court filing last year that the boy told authorities he was forced to rise before dawn for his intense workouts.

'We are thankful that the victim was found alive,' prosecutor Kym Worthy said. 'This is the first time that the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office has charged torture for a living child. Based upon the allegations, if any case warrants child torture charges, this one certainly does.'

Dillard-Bothuell was charged with an unrelated probation violation shortly after Charlie was found because there was a gun in the home and she had a prior gun conviction in Wayne County, according to MLive.

Officials have temporarily stripped Bothuell and Dillard-Bothuell of their parental rights and taken Charlie's two half-siblings from the couple's home. A final custody decision has not been made by the courts.

Bothuell and Dillard-Bothuell are due in court on Friday afternoon.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dad to go to trial for assaulting 8-week-old daughter (Canton, Michigan)

Dad is identified as VINCENT JOEL FRENCH II.

Canton father’s trial set on child abuse charges

Darrell Clem, 12:06 a.m. EST February 19, 2015

She was only eight weeks old when she arrived at a hospital after police say she was physically abused. Her young bones had been fractured – three ribs, the femur in her right leg.

Her alleged assailant was a 33-year-old man who authorities say should have been her protector – her father, Vincent Joel French II.

Barring a plea deal, French, 33, will have his day in court May 11, when his jury trial has been set in Wayne County Circuit Court. If convicted of two counts of second-degree child abuse, he could face penalties ranging up to 10 years in prison.

French, jailed after his arrest in October with a $500,000 cash bond, has pleaded not guilty to the felony charges.

However, he already has disposed of misdemeanor charges in 35th District Court. A clerk said French received the maximum 93 days in jail, plus $125 in fines, after he pleaded guilty to domestic violence. An additional count of fourth-degree child abuse was dismissed.

The misdemeanor charges arose from an incident involving French’s 7-year-old stepdaughter. None of the charges involve his 9-year-old stepson, Canton police Lt. Chad Baugh has said. #French’s felony case is pending in Wayne County Circuit Judge Ulysses Boykin’s courtroom. He was charged after his baby daughter was taken to a hospital for injuries that police say already had begun to heal.

Canton police Lt. Chad Baugh said the incident happened at The Crossings, an apartment complex on Canton’s far north side, near I-275 and Joy Road. #Police learned of the alleged abuse from Child Protective Services, which had been notified by the hospital.

Dad faces murder charges in death of 2-month-old son (Butler County, Ohio)

Dad is identified as AUSTIN MORRIS. No mention of a mother in the home. Was there one?

Here we find out that it was the mother's second day back at work after maternity leave. This is why we need longer maternity leaves for moms. So they don't have to leave their babies with violent, impulsive fathers who are so easily "frustrated."

Posted: 11:16 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015

Fairfield dad faces murder charge in death of infant son

By Lauren Pack Staff Writer

BUTLER COUNTY — A Fairfield father is now facing a murder charge for allegedly causing the death of his 2-month-old son.

Austin Morris, 23, of West Point Pleasant Circle, was indicted today by a Butler County grand jury for felony child endangering. Fairfield police say Morris caused the injuries on Jan. 13 that led to the death of his infant son two days later.

Morris was originally charge with felonious assault and child endangering hours after the child was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center where he died of his injuries, according to police.

At a preliminary hearing last month in Fairfield Municipal Court, Fairfield police detective Rebecca Ervin said that while questioning Morris on Jan. 13, he told her he became frustrated with the infant, Benjamin, while giving him a bottle at his home.

He “shook the baby and threw him against the wall,” Ervin testified. Morris told her he believed the baby struck his head against a windowsill after he was thrown.

Doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center said the infant had several head injuries, including a skull fracture, and did not think the injuries were accidental, Ervin said during testimony.

Morris is being held in the Butler County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 25 in Judge Craig Hedric’s courtroom.

Violent father who threw 2-day-old baby and killed her "not violent" - huh? (Pretoria, South Africa)

Typical of the gas lighting denials that you see around male violence, especially by fathers.

Despite the fact that the subject committed a violent act, he is not violent...not really. 'Cause he seemed nice you know.

Oh yes he is violent.

In reality, you are what you do. What you practice. How you conduct yourself in the world. To say there is some "essence" of you that is utterly distinct from how you actually live your life is totally and utterly bogus. If you act violently then you are violent. The fact that some people were unaware of the fact that you were violent before in no way changes the fact that you viciously murdered a baby. A father who smashes a baby to the ground and kills her is violent.

The "non-violent" dad is ALEXANDER SORDA.

National 19.2.2015 05.40 pm

Father of murdered baby “not violent” 

CNS Reporter/Nthabiseng Madumo and Rorisang Kgosana

Neighbours of a man accused of killing his two-day-old baby in Pretoria said he was not known as being a violent individual.

“We are all still shocked at what he did. We did not know him as a violent man. He was a nice person,” a neighbour told Rekord Centurion.

Alexander Sorda, a foreign national, appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday and will be back in court on February 24 to apply for bail.

Sorda was arrested for the murder of his daughter after he allegedly swung the infant at her mother and then at the floor at a Pretoria West filling station on Church Street on Sunday.

The girl later died in hospital.

The neighbour said when Sorda and his partner argued, it sometimes led to things being thrown around.

“I do not want to lie; I do not know what happened, but all I heard was a woman screaming. It is truly heartbreaking what happened,” the neighbour said.

The little girl died in hospital.

According to media reports, the baby girl had not yet been named, owing to tradition. She would have been named a week or month after birth, but she was unofficially named Precious for the time being.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Child protection taken to task: Why did they give father with history of domestic violence custody of little boy who was beaten to death? (Hiawatha, Kansas)

I can't even begin to summarize this case. It is too disgusting. Once again, we see how governmental authority works with abusive fathers to help them gain and retain custody. And once again, a murdered child is the result.

Dad is identified as LEE DAVIS.

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015

Documents: Hospital personnel describe abuse to 4-year-old Mekhi Boone as 'the worst ever seen'
By Jonathan Shorman

Mekhi Patrick Dean Boone, 4, of Hiawatha, died March 5, 2013 after suffering from child abuse.

Mekhi Patrick Dean Boone suffered the “worst case of child abuse they have seen.”

The 4-year-old Hiawatha boy lay on a Children’s Mercy Hospital bed in Kansas City, Mo., hooked up to a ventilator. A visiting social worker scrawled an observation on a case activity log, noting the child was brain dead.

“There is not a 2 inch part of his body that doesn’t have bruises. He was beat to death,” the log reads.

The entry was dated March 4, 2013. Mekhi was pronounced dead the next day — apparently without family by his side.

While the boy’s father and his father’s girlfriend were prosecuted for murder, the boy’s mother alleges the “outrageous conduct” of the state of Kansas and one of its contractors caused the death.

More than a hundred pages of court documents allege Kansas-based TFI Family Services, which at the time was one of the companies tasked with running the state’s foster care system, placed Mekhi with his father, Lee Davis, despite knowing he had a history of domestic violence and without telling the Department of Children and Families — the agency ultimately responsible for Mekhi’s well-being.

The court filings — part of a federal lawsuit against TFI and DCF brought by Mekhi’s mother — purport to document mistakes and missed clues prior to the boy’s death. Dozens of pages of emails and official reports paint a picture of an agency and a company where required visits weren’t made and action wasn’t taken, even after evidence of abuse began to mount.

Changes in custody

Mekhi was born Sept. 4, 2008, in Horton. Although he lived only four years, he was described as a smiling boy with energy.

“I had the opportunity to meet little Mekhi last year while he was in preschool. There was something special about this little guy that intrigued me; to sum it up, he touched my heart,” one person wrote on the funeral home’s condolence page.

Months before Mekhi’s death, an educator at the preschool reported he showed signs of abuse, but the boy’s situation didn’t change.

Mekhi had spent the first part of his life with his mother, Naomi Boone. According to a July 10, 2012, case activity log written by Michelle Petry, a DCF worker named in the lawsuit, the agency had concerns with Mekhi staying with his mother and ultimately sought to remove him.

The report recounts a conversation between Petry and TFI at the Brown County Courthouse ahead of a temporary custody hearing.

According to Petry’s report, Mekhi had been found on two occasions at a grocery store in Horton without supervision. The lawsuit also says Mekhi had attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Davis, his father, would later cite the boy’s behavior issues in attempting to explain injuries.

“We discussed that (redacted)’s father has not had much to do with him since birth according to Naomi and that Naomi reported she has concerns that he is an alcoholic and also reported that (redacted) had returned home from a visit with his father a year or so ago with a bruise on his face and she was concerned that dad had caused the bruise,” Petry wrote.

The report concludes by noting that Boone had said she told Horton police about the bruise incident and that law enforcement had investigated. Petry then writes “that is why we are not looking at dad for placement option at this time.”

Petry’s warning to TFI would go unheeded, according to the lawsuit.

At the hearing, the court placed Mekhi into the state’s custody. TFI then placed the boy with his paternal grandmother, Carol Negretti, who was also a licensed foster parent.

More than a year earlier in March 2011, the Kansas Department for Health and Human Services had designated Mekhi’s father as having a “prohibited offense.” The label meant that Davis was prohibited from working at a licensed foster home or living in a foster home under Kansas law.

Davis, who was 27 at the time of Mekhi’s death, had been twice convicted of misdemeanor battery. In one September 2009 incident recorded in a police report, a woman told Horton police that Davis had grabbed her by the throat and had pushed her against a wall. Davis told police the woman had slapped him and that he had hit her back.

In an April 2013 email sent in response to questions raised by DCF following Mekhi’s death, Gaven Ludlow, TFI’s director of Resource Family Services, said TFI was informed in March 2011 that Lee had a prohibited offense.

Mekhi lived with Negretti for about four months. But despite Davis having a prohibited offense, on Nov. 3, 2012, TFI took Mekhi from Negretti, his paternal grandmother, and placed him with his father.

According to the lawsuit, Davis had never before had custody of Mekhi. The lawsuit alleges TFI didn’t notify DCF in advance that it had decided to move Mekhi. In a March 20, 2013, email, Melinda Handley, a DCF social work supervisor, wrote that DCF staff didn’t know Mekhi was being placed with Lee before TFI moved him.

Less than a week after Mekhi was taken from his mother and placed with Negretti, Davis began to visit Mekhi at Negretti’s home. A document written by TFI in response to DCF questions following Mekhi’s death outlines how Davis began having more and more contact with Mekhi.

Davis had three supervised visits with Mekhi during July that took place at Negretti’s home. Davis then began unsupervised visits in August, with day visits taking place on Saturdays. He started to pick up Mekhi from preschool and take him to daycare. Once-a-week visits started in September, and Davis looked after the child on some evenings as well.

TFI described what case managers observed on their home visits with Davis beginning in July 2012 through January 2013. Generally, the case managers noted a clean home.

But the regularity of visits didn’t meet standards, the lawsuit alleges. When Mekhi was transferred from Negretti’s custody to Davis’ custody, the transfer wasn’t facilitated by either DCF or TFI. Instead, according to the TFI document, Davis picked up Mekhi from Negretti’s home on the date he was placed with his father.

In addition, TFI said the first visit to see Mekhi following reintegration came on Nov. 28, more than two weeks after the transfer of custody. State regulations, however, require the supervising worker to visit the child biweekly during the first three months of placement and then monthly afterward.

On a Dec. 27 visit, a worker noticed Mekhi had two black eyes and a big bump on his head. Davis had contacted TFI before the visit, saying the child had fallen into the arm of a futon while playing at his grandmother’s home and that he had taken Mekhi to the doctor.

TFI said in the document that Negretti confirmed to them through informal conversation that Mekhi fell on the futon, but the conversation was never formally documented. During a Jan. 18 visit, the worker noted Mekhi’s bruises had disappeared, with no other bruising noted on his body.

But while the TFI employees saw an apparently benign injury, Mekhi’s preschool teacher had noticed signs of physical abuse — not accidental injury — a month earlier.

In a note dated Nov. 26, 2012, an educator at Brown County Special Education Interlocal 615 wrote that several bruises and red marks could be seen on Mekhi’s stomach. The educator asked Mekhi what had happened, but he didn’t say anything.

When the school nurse examined him, Mekhi said he had fallen at home in the grass in the backyard. When asked how he fell, he said he was on the roof and jumped off.

Later that day, though, Mekhi opened up — saying that he hated living with his father and that Davis had slapped him.

“He then showed them his stomach. When asked why he said it’s when he gets in trouble and has to stand by the wall and then he said he gets slapped all over,” the teacher wrote.

Documents from the school also note about two weeks prior to Mekhi’s comments, he had bruises on both of his temples.

Mekhi’s bruises and his comments were reported to the Kansas Intake/Investigation Protection System — a DCF hotline, documents show. According to the lawsuit, DCF employee Debra Adcock conducted an investigation into the hotline call.

The lawsuit alleges Adcock’s investigation didn’t find the same risks associated with Davis that Petry noted in July 2012. DCF concluded that there was a “low risk” of abuse or neglect and that the risk was “controlled.”

“The second risk assessment contained no explanation for the conclusion that the risk to M.B.’s safety was deemed ‘low’ for abuse after M.B. had been placed with Mr. Davis, who DCF had previously determined was not a placement option for M.B. because of Mr. Davis’ background of domestic violence against M.B. and others,” the lawsuit reads.

According to the lawsuit, Adcock’s investigation lasted from Nov. 26, 2012, to Jan. 10, 2013. During that time, Adcock visited Mekhi once face-to-face. The lawsuit alleged Adcock didn’t interview the individual who made the hotline call, nor did she interview anyone who was at Mekhi’s school that day.

The lawsuit says Adcock determined the allegations were unsubstantiated and closed the investigation.

Further, the lawsuit says Adcock told TFI about the hotline call on Nov. 26. TFI indicated it would pay special attention to Mekhi, but that it had no concern about Mekhi being in the Davis home.

The lawsuit also alleges DCF didn’t meet with Mekhi while he was living with Davis, despite an obligation to make contact with the family at least once every 30 calendar days to evaluate risk and safety factors, according to DCF regulations.

No one, either from TFI or DCF, visited Mekhi after Jan. 13, 2013, the lawsuit says.

The worst ever seen

After a little less than two months without any contact from the state or TFI, Mekhi’s situation changed suddenly.

Davis brought Mekhi to the Hiawatha hospital on March 3, 2013. Mekhi was unresponsive. Davis said the child had fallen down 30 stairs.

According to the lawsuit, Davis spoke of behavior problems with the boy. Hospital staff who removed Mekhi’s clothing saw bruising and abrasions all over his body in various stages of healing.

Mekhi had multiple injuries, including internal bleeding and bleeding on the brain. He was taken by helicopter to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

At Children’s Mercy, doctors diagnosed Mekhi with severe traumatic brain injury secondary to child abuse, a skull fracture, mid-line shift of the brain and multiple bruises. The diagnosis didn’t match the explanation Davis had provided.

“Children’s Mercy personnel including a medical doctor who had observed approximately 15,000 victims of child abuse, described (Mekhi’s) injuries as the worst ever seen for a child that age, and that there was not two inches of (Mekhi’s) body that did not have bruising on it,” the lawsuit reads.

On March 4, Petry — the DCF worker who had told TFI in July 2012 that Davis wasn’t a placement option — visited Mekhi in the hospital. She wrote in her case activity log that Mekhi had been “beat to death.” She noted Mekhi showed signs of sexual abuse as well.

“After midnight test brain activity and they will pronounce him dead if nothing has changed,” Petry wrote.

The test came and went. At 2:35 p.m. on March 5, Mekhi was pronounced dead.

Davis and his girlfriend, Janice Summerford, were charged with murder. Davis was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison in July 2013. In August 2014, Summerford entered an Alford Plea — acknowledging enough evidence exists to convict her but not admitting guilt, the Sabetha Herald reported at the time.

Though a DCF employee was present at the time of Mekhi's death, and multiple DCF employees visited Mekhi in the hospital, the lawsuit alleges no one from TFI visited Mekhi in the hospital.

Further, the lawsuit alleges Mekhi died without his family. “Naomi Boone was not allowed to visit her son, (Mekhi), before his death while he was hospitalized at Children’s Mercy Hospital. (Mekhi’s) family were not allowed to see or visit (Mekhi) while he was being treated at Children’s Mercy,” the lawsuit reads.

“(Mekhi) died without his mother or family present.”

Ongoing litigation

Naomi Boone filed her lawsuit against TFI and DCF on Oct. 27, 2014. The lawsuit, which totals more than 100 pages with attached emails and reports, appears to have drawn little outside attention since.

The lawsuit was listed, however, in a budget document given to lawmakers Monday. The document indicates DCF was served with the lawsuit in December and filed an answer in January. However, federal court records show DCF was served on Oct. 31 and that TFI was served on Nov. 6.

Boone’s attorney, Michaela Shelton, of Overland Park, said she would potentially be willing to speak to The Topeka Capital-Journal, but as of Tuesday afternoon hadn’t agreed to an interview.

Approached for comment, DCF spokeswoman Theresa Freed sent a short statement that indicated one employee was fired.

“The loss of any child is a tragedy. We are deeply saddened that this little boy suffered an unthinkable death. It is always our top priority to ensure the safety of children. DCF has carefully reviewed this case and taken appropriate action, including the termination of an employee,” Freed said.

Questions directed at TFI spokeswoman Sara Hadaway were forwarded to the Kansas City, Mo., law firm Franke, Schultz & Mullen.

“Our firm is counsel of record for TFI. We would request that any further inquiries be directed to our office. It is TFI’s policy not to comment on pending litigation. Thank you for reaching out for comment before going to print,” attorney Derek Johannsen said in an email.

TFI has drawn scrutiny for past incidents. In the 2011 death of a Topeka baby, the child's grandmother said she had filed a report with TFI prior to the death raising concerns about injuries.

This past summer, TFI also attracted attention after a 10-month-old girl who had been placed into a foster home by TFI died in a hot car in Wichita. DCF temporarily suspended further foster placements by TFI but later lifted the restriction after a review of its foster homes found no serious safety concerns.

Although TFI lost its state contract in 2013, it still works as a subcontractor.

DCF and TFI both answered the lawsuit in Dec. 9 court filings, a month prior to what DCF indicated to lawmakers. In its answer, DCF seeks to distance itself from the incident and says it had no connection to Mekhi’s death.

“These answering Defendants would affirmatively assert there is no causal connection between these answering Defendants’ conduct and the death of (Mekhi), the constitutional deprivations claims by Plaintiffs, and the other injuries and damages claimed by Plaintiffs,” DCF’s legal answer reads.

Boone’s lawsuit argues her son’s due process rights were violated, a claim that also drew a response from DCF.

“These answering Defendants affirmatively assert that the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution does not require these answering Defendants to protect its citizens from private violence,” the answer reads.

TFI in its answer denies the plaintiff sustained any damage. The company suggests that if any fault is found, it should be shared with DCF as well.

According to an online court docket, the next step in the lawsuit is a scheduling conference set for Monday.

Video-game addicted father arrested for assaulting 3-month-old baby; already in custody for parole violation tied to another assault (Newport, New Hampshire)

Please, people. This isn't rocket science. A father who has a history of assault (and probation violation related to that assault) is rather likely to assault again...and again. Just as dad JERRRY CARRIER did, a video game-addicted moron who obviously has poor impulse control. These men make poor infant caretakers. Are we clear on that now?

Enraged by a video game, New Hampshire dad turned on infant son, police say

By Peter Holley February 18 at 11:48 AM 

A New Hampshire father who admitted that rage over a video game led him to shake his infant son on multiple occasions has been arrested, according to news reports.

Jerry Carrier, 26, told police that he shook his three-month-old baby on two separate occasions within a two-week period in January, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

“He was having trouble getting past a level of one of the games he was playing and got frustrated,” Newport police Sgt. Buddy Rowe told the newspaper.

Carrier was arrested on Monday and charged with two counts of first-degree assault, according to ABC affiliate WMUR, which noted that he is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

Police say the first assault occurred at a home in Newport, N.H., on Jan. 5, when paramedics were called for an infant “in distress,” according to the Union Leader. The child was rushed to the hospital and released but was readmitted to a different hospital the next day because the baby was “unable to keep food down,” according to the newspaper.

Two weeks later, a similar incident unfolded in Charlestown, N.H., the Union Leader reported.

“The infant was described as being limp, unresponsive, blue and eyes rolled back in its head and not breathing,” police said, according to the paper. “The mother of the child went to the residence where Carrier was with the child and brought them both to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center where it was determined that the injuries sustained were from non-accidental trauma.”

Under questioning, Carrier — who was already in custody for a separate parole violation tied to another assault – confessed to shaking his child on both occasions, according to the New York Daily News.

Police said the baby remains in state custody, but they did not have an update on the infant’s condition, according to the Union Leader.

Carrier faces up to seven years in prison if found guilty, according to the Daily News.

Custodial dad with history of domestic assault charged in abuse death of 3-year-old daughter (La Crosse County, Wisconsin)

So basically Daddy and his girlfriend tortured his 3-year-old daughter to death.

That's sickening enough. But what is left unsaid and unexplained is just as horrifying. Who made the decision to take this little girl away from her mother and give custody to a father with a previous CONVICTION for domestic assault? Let's start seeing names. Because the people who delivered this poor little girl to this vicious freak are just as responsible.

Dad is identified as DYLAN BARTSH.

Holmen father, girlfriend charged in toddler’s death

19 hours ago • By Anne Jungen

A Holmen father and his girlfriend beat a malnourished 3-year-old girl, subjected her to 10-hour timeouts and may have forced to eat salt before her Oct. 31 death, according to court records.

Prosecutors Tuesday charged Dylan Bartsh, 30, and Jaymie Rundle, 24, with child neglect resulting in death and physical abuse of a child, both as party to the crime, in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

The toddler died at a hospital after a seizure three days earlier, when doctors discovered she was emaciated with bruises, scratches and scarring on her face and body, according to the complaint.

A medical examiner ruled her death a homicide and during autopsy discovered contusions to her head, a black eye, fingernail and bite marks, injuries inflicted by an object similar to a wire hanger and chronic malnutrition and dehydration.

The autopsy also found elevated levels of table salt contributed to her death. The medical examiner could not rule out that she was forced to eat salt after finding injuries to her mouth, cheeks and jaw, the complaint states.

Bartsh and Rundle, who together have other four children, took custody of his daughter in May 2013 from her biological mother.

Bartsh told investigators that his daughter’s life was a “challenge” and that she stopped eating two weeks before her death, according to the complaint. He blamed her sodium levels on PediaSure and Ensure consumption.

The other children reported the couple forced the toddler into timeouts in the shower and spanked the child with a fly swatter, the complaint states.

Bartsh’s mother, who wasn’t allowed to visit her grandchild, told police the victim was put on timeout for 10 hours. The grandmother photographed the child’s injuries.

Bartsh, who lives now in Altura, Minn., is in the Winona County Jail awaiting extradition to Wisconsin. Rundle is housed in the La Crosse County Jail and expected to make her first court appearance Wednesday.

Bartsh was convicted of domestic assault in Winona County District Court in 2008 and 2012, according to court records. The 2008 conviction stemmed from an incident where he was accused of brandishing a steak knife and threatening and hitting a woman in the presence of a small child.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fathers, boyfriends figure prominently in child abuse deaths (Illinois)

Notice that none of these cases involve just mothers raising their children alone. They always center on an abusive father or boyfriend in the home. The first case discussed actually involves a CUSTODIAL FATHER, JEREMIAH THOMPSON. So much for the fathers rights demonization of single moms. The problem is not that they are single per se. It's that they involve awful men in the lives of their children.

29 more kids among Illinois child-welfare agency’s faces of failure

Posted: 02/16/2015, 07:00pm | Becky Schlikerman, Tony Arnold and Chris Fusco

Jeremiah Thompson first beat his daughter, little Jakarriah Patterson, when she was just a year and a half old, state child-welfare records show.

A year later, Thompson — a former ward of the state on parole for a robbery conviction — ended up caring for Jakarriah again.

This time, he beat her to death, authorities say.

Thompson, 22, told police he repeatedly “popped” Jakarriah for not listening to him in the three weeks he’d been caring for her at his home in Lansing. The girl had a broken jaw, fractured ribs, lacerations to her liver and dozens of bruises over her 37-pound body when the police found her dead, rigor mortis already setting in, on March 19, 2014.

“She said, ‘Dada, I love you.’ Her body fidgeted one last time,” a Lansing police detective wrote in his report on Jakarriah’s death. “Mr. Thompson stated he knew she was dead because of him.”

In the police lockup, Thompson — who would soon be charged with first-degree murder — couldn’t get his daughter’s screams out of his head. He put socks around his head and stuffed toilet paper in his ears because “he said he kept hearing her . . . calling for him,” according to the police.

Jakarriah is one of 29 children killed from abuse or neglect in the last reporting year who died within a year after they or their caregivers had come under scrutiny by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, a Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ review of newly released records from the agency’s inspector general found. One more abuse death remains under investigation.

The 29 deaths in DCFS-involved cases between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014, is nearly double the number in 2009-2010. Of those, 10 children died from abuse and 19 as a result of neglect — including 10 sleep-related neglect cases, half of which involved adults who were drunk or high sleeping alongside infants.

In his successful campaign to unseat incumbent Pat Quinn, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner aired an ad that criticized Quinn based on a series of Sun-Times/WBEZ reports analyzing DCFS deaths dating back to 2003. DCFS also has come under fire in the wake of a Chicago Tribune investigation that found widespread problems with the agency’s residential treatment facilities.

Rauner has enlisted the Casey Family Programs — a nationally known child-welfare organization — to assess the agency.

On Friday, he tapped George Sheldon, who ran Florida’s equivalent of DCFS between 2008 and 2011, as Illinois’ next child-welfare chief. Sheldon, a lawyer and former Florida state representative, won last year’s Florida Democratic primary for attorney general but lost in the general election.

In choosing Sheldon, Rauner is bringing in an outsider to run the system — something Quinn didn’t do after DCFS chief Richard Calica left the agency in late 2013 and died shortly thereafter. Since then, DCFS has had four different directors, all who had worked for the agency.

While child-welfare advocates have long been calling for an outsider to head the agency, it’s unclear whether Rauner’s DCFS reform plans also involve spending more money — which, given that the state is strapped for cash, appears unlikely. Rauner will make his first state budget address, outlining his spending priorities, on Wednesday.

“Gov. Rauner is committed to ensuring the most vulnerable children of Illinois are cared for and receive the help that they need,” spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said. “He looks forward to proposing a responsible budget to turn around the agency.”

The Sun-Times/WBEZ analysis of Inspector General Denise Kane’s latest report also found other cases, like Jakarriah’s, involving the death of a child in which child-welfare workers — many employed by private agencies under state contract — appeared to have ignored prior abuse and other red flags. Though Kane doesn’t identify the caregivers or the children in her report, reporters obtained their names by cross-referencing details the inspector general provided with police reports, court records and news stories.

In addition to those cases, Kane cited and gave summaries of cases in which child-welfare workers had sounded alarm bells, only to have other authorities block efforts to take children into protective custody.

One of those involved 4-month-old Anterio Schlieper, who died in June 2014. Days after the Moline boy’s birth in January, DCFS met with the Rock Island County state’s attorney’s office because one of Anterio’s three sisters told a school counselor she was “afraid to leave home because her mother is always drunk with the baby,” according to a police report.

That wasn’t DCFS’s first encounter with the family, according to Kane. The agency had launched other investigations of the mother, Terri L. Wells, dating back to 2012.

Despite this, “the state’s attorney’s office did not feel there was enough evidence to file a petition” to remove the children from Wells’ care, according to Kane.

The night before Anterio was found unresponsive, Wells and the infant’s father, Anthony Schlieper, drank and smoked marijuana and then went to sleep beside him, according to Kane. Both were charged with felony “endangering a child causing death” but pleaded guilty to lesser charges and are awaiting sentencing.

Rock Island County State’s Attorney John L. McGehee said a forensic pathologist couldn’t determine whether Anterio’s parents directly caused his death, which records show was classified under a catch-all heading: sudden unexpected death in infancy.

“There was no evidence that we could prove that there is suffocation due to rolling over or doing something negligent,” McGehee said in explaining prosecutors’ decision to let Anterio’s parents plead guilty to lesser charges.

The state’s attorney also acknowledged his office had talked to DCFS before Anterio died but said his staff didn’t see enough evidence to ask a judge to take the drastic step of removing the children from the home.

“It is a difficult, tragic situation,” McGehee said. “This is a case that involves mostly abuse of alcohol. . . . It’s a very high burden that we have to show that the abuse is of such severe nature that it is something where the court steps in.”

Other DCFS-involved deaths cited in Kane’s report include:

• Torian Whitaker, of downstate Glen Carbon, who died on his fifth birthday after being hit in the chest so hard that his heart stopped. His mother’s boyfriend, Tavon Ludy, had been caring for Torian while she was out buying his birthday gift. Ludy has since been charged with murder in Torian’s Sept. 29, 2013, death.

DCFS had been aware of potential abuse in the household for months, according to records that show Torian’s older brother told teachers in February 2013 that Ludy had abused him. In March 2013, the school principal called DCFS to report a bump on the boy’s head. DCFS ruled out abuse after his mother and grandmother “characterized the child as a liar,” according to Kane.

Torian’s mother, Toria Coleman, was charged with felony child endangerment “because she was aware of her boyfriend’s treatment of her children,” according to Kane. The cases against Ludy, 26, and Coleman, 28, are pending.

• Amierah Roberson, a Chicago toddler whose burned body was found next to an abandoned factory in Riverdale in March 2014 after she’d been missing for two days. She’d been hit in the head before being set on fire, her autopsy found. Partially melted pink barrettes were found in her braided hair.

James Harris, now charged with murdering the 19-month-old girl, had been caring for Amierah while his girlfriend, the girl’s mother, went to work.

A month before Amierah died, a day care worker had reported to DCFS that the girl had bruises and scratches on her face. A DCFS investigation was pending when she went missing; Kane’s office is reviewing the findings.

In the case of Jakarriah Patterson, multiple sets of eyes had been trained on the family. Thompson, her father, had been a ward in DCFS’s care when she was born.

Thompson’s child-welfare caseworker had been “advised” that he abused Jakarriah in March 2013, according to Kane. Five months later, Thompson told the caseworker he’d resumed caring for his daughter, who was staying with him in Lansing.

The worker, though, didn’t see the child — or notify DCFS to check on her well-being despite Thompson’s criminal record and history of abuse.

In August 2013, Thompson turned 21 and “aged out” of the child-welfare system.

By March 2014, Jakarriah was dead.

Karla Patterson, Jakarriah’s mother, said she had no idea DCFS had concluded Thompson abused the girl back in March 2013. Otherwise, she said she wouldn’t have allowed the girl to live with him.

Patterson said she was forced to send Jakarriah and her other child to live with their fathers after her family lost its home in Green Bay, Wis.

“My mom was getting put out,” Patterson said. “We had nowhere to go. I sent my kids back with their fathers. I didn’t want to have my kids in the streets.”

Patterson said DCFS told her the first abuse allegation against Thompson was groundless.

“If they would have told me then, like, ‘We have something,’ she wouldn’t have been back,” Patterson said in tears.

A DCFS spokesman said Patterson had been told on June 26, 2013, that the abuse allegation against Thompson was credible.