Category Archives: Drugs

CO Man Pleads Guilty To Child Abuse

.jpg photo of colorado man whose son was found encased in concrete
Leland Pankey, 40, pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death and tampering with a deceased human body.

Father of Denver boy found encased in
concrete pleads guilty to Child Abuse;
murder charge dropped

DENVER, CO  –  The father of a 7-year-old Denver boy found encased in concrete in 2018 has pleaded guilty to a child abuse charge in the case, in exchange for prosecutors dropping the murder charge against him.

Leland Pankey, 40, was charged with murder in Caden McWilliams’ death in May.  In a hearing on Thursday, he pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death and tampering with a deceased human body.

The murder charge was dropped in the deal.  Pankey now faces up to 72 years in prison.

“This agreement provides justice for Caden while ensuring that Mr. Pankey will serve a significant amount of time behind bars,” Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said in a news release Thursday.  “This is one of the most horrific cases ever handled by the Denver DA’s Office and we were acutely concerned about re-traumatizing Caden’s family as well as the jury, judge and everyone else involved should this case proceed to trial.”

Pankey is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 28.

The body of McWilliams was found encased in concrete in a storage unit in the 5000 block of East Evans Avenue in Denver on Dec. 23, 2018.

McWilliams’ mother, Elisha Pankey, also pleaded guilty in August to one count of child abuse resulting in death.

The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner ruled in a report in March that Caden had been malnourished and had cocaine metabolite and methamphetamine in his system.  The boy also had numerous injuries to his head, torso and extremities, according to the autopsy.  He may have suffered from asphyxia, dehydration or hyperthermia, but that couldn’t be confirmed, the autopsy said.

In an interview with police in March, Elisha Pankey told investigators that Leland Pankey abused Caden while they were living in an extended-stay hotel, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.  The couple and their two children had moved into the hotel in May 2018, and Leland Pankey watched the children while Elisha Pankey went to work, she told investigators.

Elisha Pankey said Caden died in July 2018 after his father kept him in a dog kennel, the affidavit said.  A woman who had been in the Arapahoe County Jail with Elisha Pankey in December said Pankey told her that she believed her son suffocated in the dog kennel.

Leland Pankey kept Caden in the kennel overnight – with blankets on top of it – and the boy cried out that he was hot and thirsty, Elisha Pankey told her fellow inmate, according to the affidavit.

On the day Caden died, his mother and father bought Quikrete, trash bags and water, drove Caden’s body to the storage unit on Evans Avenue, and mixed the concrete and poured it into the kennel, the affidavit said.

The boy’s body wasn’t discovered until December, when officers responded to a domestic violence call involving the Pankeys.

Police learned that the couple had two children, and Elisha Pankey told officers that the children were with their father.  When police contacted Leland Pankey, he said one child was in daycare, but he avoided answering questions about Caden, eventually telling officers the boy was with his mother, the affidavit said.

When officers interviewed a woman whose name was redacted in the affidavit, she told police that Leland Pankey had lost his son and that Pankey said her family could have their storage “because it had too many memories,” the affidavit said.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for the Pankeys’ storage unit and found Caden’s remains inside.

Ohio Prosecutor Making A Difference For Children

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
“Children are our future…”. Vinton County Prosecutor Trecia Kimes-Brown

Seven people charged in Vinton County Child Abuse cases

VINTON COUNTY, OH  –  Seven people are facing various charges for multiple instances of child abuse in Vinton County.

The Vinton County prosecutor says the seven were arrested Thursday after being indicted by a grand jury.

In a release, Vinton County Prosecutor Trecia Kimes-Brown outlined three separate cases where children under a year old were allegedly abused, and one of them died.

Kimes-Brown says in all three cases, the suspects charged have a history of drug abuse.

The indictments include:

– Nicholas Bethel, of Ray, was indicted on three counts of assault, six counts of endangering children, and one count of permitting child abuse.

– Lacey Grant, of Ray, faces charges for endangering children, and permitting child abuse.

– Tyler May, 22, of McArthur, was indicted on several charges including assault, child endangerment, and permitting child abuse.

– Savannah Peoples, 24, of McArthur, was indicted for assault, child endangerment, and permitting child abuse.

– Mark Thompson, 24, of McArthur, is charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, one count of reckless homicide, one count of endangering children, and one count of permitting child abuse.

– Hannah Beckett, 23, of West Virginia, faces several charges including child endangerment, and permitting child abuse.

– Tyler Rucker, of Jackson County, Ohio, was indicted for using a minor in nudity oriented material.

“I believe these children are our future and deserve the best that all systems can offer,” said Kimes- Brown.  “As a result, many people, through coordinated efforts, worked to attempt to bring security and justice to these victims.  I am aware that there are many others who deserve the same.  I will continue to use my best efforts and our available resources to ensure that we can provide them the safe environments that they need to heal and thrive.”

Her statement goes on to say, “As a result, at this time, I am asking that our local communities and our state come together to have a hearty discussion about our priorities in addressing the issues that face these children and the systems obligated to protect them.  Further, I ask that once that discussion occurs that we take strategical action to implement our priorities and we fund them appropriately.”

SC Woman Wanted In Death Of Infant

.jpg photo of woman wanted in death of infant
Stephanie Marie Healey is wanted for Homicide by Child Abuse in the death of an infant on December 29, 2018.

WANTED: Homicide by Child Abuse
suspect sought by Georgetown PD

GEORGETOWN, SC  –  Georgetown police are searching for a woman in connection with a homicide by Child Abuse case.

According to the Georgetown Police Department, Stephanie Marie Healey is wanted for Homicide by Child Abuse in connection to the death of an infant on December 29, 2018.

The incident report states that the child was born at 2:45 a.m. and died less than three hours later at 5:03 a.m.

In the report Chase Ridgeway from the Georgetown County Coroner’s office told officers the baby tested positive for opioids and had cocaine in its system.

The report says that Healey was the child’s mother and gave birth via C-section when she was 34 weeks pregnant.

If you see Healey or have any information on her whereabouts, please call Georgetown Police Department at 843-545-4300

Misusing Painkillers: Dose Of Reality

.jpg photo of TX Ag at press conference
Attorney General Paxton was joined at a press conference by Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt and Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Courtney N. Phillips.

AG Paxton Launches New Dose of Reality
Website to Educate Texans About the
Dangers of Opioid Abuse

AUSTIN, TX  –  In his office’s latest initiative to combat the nation’s opioid crisis, Attorney General Ken Paxton today launched Dose of Reality, a new comprehensive website to inform and educate Texans about the dangers of misusing prescription painkillers.

The new site is available at DoseofReality.Texas.gov

Attorney General Paxton was joined at a press conference by Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt and Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Courtney N. Phillips.

“The misuse and abuse of prescription opioids cost lives and devastate Texas families in every region of our state,” Attorney General Paxton said.  “Opioids such as OxyContin and hydrocodone are prescribed by doctors to treat moderate to severe pain, but have serious risks and side effects.  When patients are not well informed, these drugs can inflict far more pain than they prevent.  The Dose of Reality website is intended to give Texans the information they need to avoid those unintended consequences.  My office will continue to do everything it can to protect Texans from the opioid crisis.”

Dose of Reality provides individuals, patients, health care providers, teachers, coaches and others with opioid-related resources in one location, allowing for quick and easy access to vital information.

The new website includes details on approaches to preventing opioid abuse and addiction, proper pain management, safe storage of prescription painkillers and guidelines on responding to an opioid overdose.  It also features a statewide take back map of locations that accept prescription opioids for safe disposal.

Opioids are a family of drugs that include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin as well as illegal drugs like heroin.

Each day, 115 Americans die of opioid overdoses.

Nationwide, there were 42,249 opioid overdoses in 2016, including 1,375 opioid-related deaths in Texas.

The death toll attributed to opioids in the U.S. has quadrupled over the last two decades.

In 2017, Attorney General Paxton and a bipartisan group of 40 other state attorneys general initiated an investigation into whether companies that manufacture and distribute prescription opioids engaged in unlawful practices.  Last May, Attorney General Paxton filed a major consumer protection lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act involving the company’s prescription opioids, including OxyContin.

The nationally acclaimed and award-winning Dose of Reality website was conceived by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), in September 2015 provided to Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota and Nebraska at no cost.  Attorney General Paxton’s office partnered with the Wisconsin DOJ, Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of State Health Services on content development for DoseofReality.Texas.gov

To view the press conference, click here:
https://www.facebook.com/TexasAttorneyGeneral/videos/381897475701392/

When Health And Safety Of Patients Do Not Matter

.jpg photo of TX Attorney General Logo graphic
Texas Attorney General Logo graphic.

AG Paxton Files Court Brief to Safeguard
Women’s Health and Protect the Unborn
in Texas

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton last night filed a motion in U.S. District Court asking for dismissal of Whole Woman’s Health’s lawsuit challenging almost all abortion laws and regulations in Texas.

“Whole Woman’s Health is attempting to circumvent the democratic process and use the courts to change dozens of laws passed by the people’s representatives in the Texas Legislature,” said Attorney General Paxton.

Whole Woman’s Health is challenging more than 60 individual state laws or regulations in 19 different categories, including the parental consent requirement for minors, 24-hour waiting period, ultrasound requirement, and criminal penalties for non-compliance.

Abortion clinics throughout Texas already comply with the current laws and, in some cases, they have been doing so for decades.  For instance, abortion facilities have been required to meet state licensing requirements and report certain data to the state since 1985.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already upheld laws like many of those challenged.

Some of the challenged laws include the state’s requirement that abortion providers sterilize their instruments, provide patients access to their medical records, the opportunity to ask questions and the right to be free from discrimination in their treatment.

“The financial interests of abortion doctors or their profit margins should never take precedence over women’s safety and well-being,” said Attorney General Paxton.  “It’s shameful that Whole Woman’s Health no longer wants to comply with these common-sense regulations of abortion practice, many of which have previously been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.”