PDC community divided as principal charged with Child Abuse makes first court appearance
Prairie du Chien, WI – On Wednesday, Aaron Amundson, a Prairie du Chien principal for Bluff View Intermediate School charged with physical abuse of a child, appeared in court for the first time.
According to a criminal complaint, Amundson used chemical cleaners to scrub off two letters on a student’s hand. According to the victim’s mom, her son’s hand was chemically burned from Amundson’s actions.
Before Wednesday’s hearing, Amundson’s defense filed a motion to dismiss the charge, but the prosecution was not ready to argue that motion.
However, the prosecution did ask the judge for a $1,000 bond and a strict no contact order between Amundson and the victim.
In response, the defense asked for the no contact order to have exceptions for Amundson to accidentally run into the student at Bluff View. The defense argued a strict no contact order would prevent Amundson from going back to work at the school as long as the victim attends the same school.
The judge granted the no contact order with exceptions for incidental contact at the school.
Critics of Amundson say this case highlights the deeper divide in the Prairie du Chien community.
“Since the recession, our community got divided. It’s either you have money or you don’t,” Darlene Natwick, a mother with a son in the PDC School District, said.
She said Amundson’s supporters, “want to protect him.”
An Amundson supporter said Amundson did not intentionally chemically burn a student.
“It’s a tragedy what occurred. It was a mistake,” Kurt Kravchuk, who had a child in the PDC School District, said. “Aaron freely admits he made a mistake and didn’t look at the directions. He was just trying to help out a child that came to him in need.”
Amundson has been on paid, non-disciplinary leave, but some women say they’ve seen him at the school.
District Administrator Bob Smudde said that’s because he has allowed Amundson back.
“He’s been going to administrative meetings at the bookends of the day, no student contact,” Smudde said. “Since he is on paid leave we are trying to get him to be as involved in the administrative process with meetings with adults as possible, but he is doing nothing with students at this time.”
Smudde said the District Attorney did ask him to not allow Amundson back on campus, and Smudde said Amundson has not been back since. He added that there has not yet been a decision made as to if Amundson will be allowed on school grounds after the judge created a no contact order with exceptions allowing for Amundson to be on school grounds.
Smudde said that no decision has been made in regards to Amundson’s employment because of the ongoing court proceedings.
In the meantime, Amundson’s supporters and critics both hope for different outcomes.
“I really think it’s time for a new principal. I would like to see a new principal,” Natwick said.
Kravchuk said, “I just hope justice is carried out in a proper manner.”
A motion hearing and preliminary hearing are set for May 31 at 2:30 at the Crawford County Courthouse.
I turned the knob and the door cracked open, suddenly the all too familiar smell was all around me, and on me. As I finished opening the door, the smell of my 3rd son drew closer around me, holding to me tightly.
The next afternoon I turned the knob, and as I opened the door and held it, my Mother looked into my eyes and nodded, then my Niece did also, as they proceeded into the big room, moving to the chairs I had marked with my eyes.
The table was filled with gamblers, all holding the winning hand, including the nurse at the far end of the table; she knew her part by heart, and in fact was certain of an academy award, until she looked into the eyes she knew so well….
These people had lied to me since the day before, and evidently thought we were dumb as dirt. Never in my life had I ever imagined the day when the people I respected so much would instead prove to be as low as the most evil criminals.
I listened as each one at the table had their say, then, while slowly standing up, I looked from one, to the next in turn all around the table. I explained the difference in “no activity” with a swollen head, and a “brain stem test”, then I looked into each set of eyes, and said NO ONE WILL BE TURNING MY SON’S VENTILATOR OFF TODAY, NOR EVER.
My Brother called me 3 years ago, and told me to hurry. When I got to the place, he met me at the door, and we went to the young Lady’s room.
Nurses were all standing around staring at the relative, as my Brother asked my opinion. I said heroin???? NO WAY, maybe PCP, but you remember when I was in the hospital and went out of my head 2 different times???? He said that’s why I called you.
When I said, “considering how hard she fell when she was blind-sided, I would have to believe bone marrow was in her system and going to her brain, but apparently she didn’t break nothing”. The nurses looked like I had slapped them.
These people failed to X-Ray this young Lady, missed a broken hip, then left the illicit drugs misdiagnosis on her record to cover their incompetence. The sad part of this is that she had been in the hospital for nearly 3 full days.
My Little Brother was the victim of a poorly trained employee at Insurance Market Place. We got their attention by contacting Our Elected Officials.
However, while filing an appeal, I had to rush My Brother to the ER. Later he was diagnosed with pancreatitis, but sent home without a Doctor doing anything.
To say he was in agony, is like saying a blow torch is warm, because Our Circle on Google had told me so. After over a month, we won his appeal, and he was checked into Parkland Hospital, where he stayed for 4 days then released.
All this time He has been losing weight, and still hurting badly almost all the time.
This week I went with him to his appointments, before Chemo, and for whatever reason, between our questions, it fell out of these people’s mouth that he hasn’t been getting any real treatment due to the drugs in his system.
I believe my Brother got their attention by telling them between Parkland Hospital and Insurance Market Place, they were responsible for him losing nearly 40 lbs and everything else, plus knowing the pain he was in, yet not prescribing him anything.
But now I don’t mind telling everyone that I got my Brother the medicine for pain. I am unable to take anything like this and muscle relaxers, so I didn’t know….
I’m sorry Little Brother, and I have to admit this to all of you, I knew how he was hurting, and I knew his stress and depression first hand, yet I made him even more miserable because I kept thinking I was going to go wake him up one day and he wasn’t going to wake up.
SO, this is for all of you….
First, I checked if anything had turned up on the VA Hospital Drug Thefts, and oddly enough nothing has been posted since roughly the end of May.
BUT, I did come across some very interesting facts:
Doctors and Nurses are more likely than other occupations to form a substance addiction.
Studies suggest that Medical Professionals are more likely to misuse prescription drugs than their patients.
Substance Abuse is grossly unreported in medical community by an estimated 50% and most likely much higher.
*15% of all physicians and nurses will experience substance abuse issues, although this number could quiet possibly be as much as 50% higher
**20% of all physicians and nurses will experience substance abuse issues, although this number could quiet possibly be more than 50% higher
Dallas mother gets life for starving baby who was too weak to cry when he died
Dallas, TX – A 22-year-old mother was sentenced to life in prison for starving her 7 1/2-month-old baby to death.
When Kary Sharpe died, he weighed ounces more than he did when he was born.
Too emaciated to lift his head or roll over, he likely didn’t even cry in the hours and days before he died of starvation Dec. 2, 2014.
Kary’s mother, Princess White, pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony injury to a child charge.
State District Judge Teresa Hawthorne — known for giving second chances — sentenced the woman to life in prison Friday.
Hawthorne frequently interjected during testimony to ask questions, often wondering what might have led White to neglect her baby.
The judge said she will never be able to get the image of baby Kary out of her mind — so thin that every rib in his body could be seen in his autopsy photos.
The skin around his belly and backside sagged where muscle and fat had once been.
Hawthorne said she often gives people second chances so they can get help to amend for their mistakes but couldn’t ignore “what you did by letting that baby die.”
“That poor child longed for nurture and food,” Hawthorne said.
White shouted “no!” after she was sentenced and was led back to a holding cell. She could be heard wailing from inside the courtroom.
Her family threw themselves on the floor weeping outside the courtroom, and her mother said, “How could they give my baby life?”
White’s aunt, 24-year-old Kiara Hamlett, testified that she could tell Kary was small for his age but didn’t realize how emaciated he was until the day he died.
Hamlett and White’s sister lived with White and her three children.
“What the hell were you grown-ups doing in there?” Hawthorne asked Hamlett. “Is there anything you can say to me to help me understand why for two months nobody took care of this baby?”
Hamlett sniffed and hung her head.
“Do you not have an answer for me, ma’am?” Hawthorne asked.
“No ma’am,” Hamlett responded.
Defense attorney Sindhu Alexander said White couldn’t understand that her baby could die. Alexander asked the court for leniency.
“She was ill-equipped to deal with the exact situation she had,” Alexander said.
She said that White’s parenting skills worsened after the father of her three children went to prison, leaving her to work and care for the kids by herself.
“I don’t think Princess White realized if she didn’t take him to the doctor he could die,” Alexander said.
But prosecutor Eren Price said it’s pointless to waste time trying to figure out why a mother would let her baby starve to death.
She called White a liar and a manipulator. White claimed that she had fed Kary and changed his diaper the day he died. Medical records showed the child was wearing an “old, heavily saturated, foul-smelling diaper.”
And the autopsy report showed that Kary’s stomach was empty. All that remained in his body was feces he was likely too weak to pass.
Price said as awful as it may sound, “it would have been more humane for her to put a bullet in his head.”
White was indicted in January 2015 on the injury to a child charge for “failing to provide adequate nutrition” and “failing to seek adequate medical care” for Kary.
Child Protective Services took custody of White’s two other children. They are now in foster care.
After months in jail, White wrote Hawthorne, asking the judge to lower her bail.
“What they accusing me of I didn’t do it I love my kids,” White wrote. “I was a single mother struggle tryna make sure we had a place to stay and food to eat.”
She said that she had never been in trouble before, except for a time she was accused of stealing “pampers for my baby!!”
White signed the letter, “love Princess.”
On Thursday, prosecutor Eren Price showed the judge photos of Kary’s body. His bones were protruding and his body was shrunken in comparison to his head.
Price compared those photos to undated pictures on White’s phone showing that Kary had once been healthy and well-fed, with rolls on his arms and legs, a round face and big brown eyes.
In some pictures he was grinning, wide-mouthed and toothless.
“If I didn’t know it was the same child, you couldn’t convince me,” said Dallas police Detective Chris Adams, a child-abuse detective who went to the hospital after Kary died.
He described the baby as “skin and bones.” Kary was emaciated, with no muscle or fat on his tiny body.
White told police that Kary had trouble keeping down his bottles because he was lactose-intolerant. She said she had fed him 8 ounces of soy milk the morning of his death, but police didn’t find any soy milk in the home, Adams said.
Dr. Suzanne Dakil, a pediatrician who specializes in child-abuse cases, said even babies who have trouble eating or keeping down their food wouldn’t be as emaciated as Kary was when he died.
When Price showed a photo of the baby when he was alive to Dakil, the pediatrician raised her eyebrows and asked, “That’s the same child?”
Dakil looked back at a photo of Kary’s emaciated body and said, “That would’ve been slow suffering.”
Kary weighed about 6 pounds 9 ounces when he was born. At a checkup when he was 3 months old, he was slightly underweight at 9 pounds. At 7-1/2 months, when he died, he weighed 7 pounds.
Dakil described such starvation deaths of babies as rare.
“This is actively, passively letting a kid die right in front of you,” Dakil said. “It’s not an act of minutes. It’s weeks, months.”
If Kary had been taken to a hospital, she said, he could’ve been saved. He would have gained weight, and his growth would have been that of a normal, healthy child.
UMATILLA, FL – A man has been arrested after he admitted to placing a 10-year-old girl in adult entertainment straps and beating her with a wooden spatula as punishment.
According to an arrest affidavit, Christopher Paul McKeehan was upset Thursday that the child had left some pills out that a 2-year-old got into as well as lying about her report card.
A witness in the home said McKeehan couldn’t find his belt he normally spanked the child with and couldn’t wait, so he grabbed the 12-inch long, two-inch wide spatula to beat the child.
McKeehan admitted to Lake County sheriff’s deputies, who had responded to the home on reports of child abuse, that the adult entertainment straps were already tied to the bed. He added he took the child into the bedroom, made her lie down, used the straps to bind her wrists, took her pants down and beat her.
The witness told deputies that when she heard screaming, she went into the room and yelled for McKeehan to stop. But instead the 175-pound McKeehan climbed onto the child’s back and continued to spank her with the spatula.
The affidavit adds the child was eventually able to get one hand free. But about 75 percent of the child’s buttocks was covered with a bright red and purple bruise.
McKeehan was charged with aggravated child abuse and remained in the Lake County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.
According to the affidavit, McKeehan admitted he went too far and called law enforcement and the Department of Children and Families on himself.