Tag Archives: Dangerous Environment

Mother Cuts Childrens Throats

Mother cut Childrens throats
Christina E. Booth

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A Washington state woman accused of stabbing her three small children told detectives she cut the children’s throats with a kitchen knife to keep them quiet for her soldier husband, a prosecutor said Monday.

Christina E. Booth, 29, of Olympia, said in the police interview that her husband, Thomas Booth, never helped her with the children and got “very annoyed” when they cried, Thurston County Deputy Prosecutor Craig Juris said in a probable cause document filed in court. The children include a 2-year-old toddler and 6-month-old twins.

Bail was set Monday at $3 million. The woman was arrested early Sunday for investigation of attempted murder. The prosecutor’s office said Monday she has not yet been formally charged. An email request for comment sent to a lawyer who was with her at the bail hearing was not immediately returned.

The children were reported stable Sunday after surgery at a hospital. The hospital isn’t releasing updates on their condition because of federal privacy law. They have been placed in the custody of state Child Protective Services.

Thomas Booth told police his wife had been “very stressed out” raising the children and was on medication for post-partum depression, according to court papers. He said he and his wife had watched a movie at home Saturday night and each had two large glasses of wine. He described his wife as sufficiently intoxicated that she was slurring her words.

According to the detectives’ account, Christina Booth said she had been having a tough time caring for the children. She said her husband “never helps her with the children and that Thomas gets very annoyed when the children cry and make noise,” detectives said in the probable cause account.

The woman said the twins started crying after she took the toddler up to bed and “she hit her breaking point,” the document said. She described going downstairs to get a knife from the dishwasher, then cutting her toddler daughter’s throat with a knife and covering her with blankets so she would be hidden. She then described cutting the twins’ throats.

“Christina said she knew if she killed all of the kids, the house would be quiet for Thomas,” the probable cause document said she told detectives. “During the interview, Christina broke down crying several times, yelled about Thomas never helping with the kids and vomited once. Christina made the comment ‘they will be quiet now’ several times.”

Police have said Thomas Booth is not suspected of a crime.
He told detectives that he found the injured twins after he saw his wife wearing only her underwear, crying and screaming, a short time after she took the little girl upstairs to put her to bed. He said grabbed his medical kit and started trying to stop the twins’ bleeding with gauze, while yelling at his wife to call 911. Thomas Booth said he saw the toddler in her bed but didn’t see anything wrong with her.

The man told detectives his wife always took the children out of his presence if they cried.

In talking with the woman’s husband and neighbors, detectives have been getting a picture of a family in stress, Olympia police Lt. Jim Costa said earlier.

Neighbors told investigators that Booth had a “bubbly” personality, but she had no break in dealing with her little ones.

“I’m sure there probably was frustration, friction in the household,” Costa said. “A lot of dynamics pushed her over the brink.”

Nanny accused of poisoning disabled boy

Caregiver poisoned Child
Tiffany C. Johnson

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A West Tennessee nanny accused of putting large amounts of salt in the feeding tube of a disabled 8-year-old boy has been indicted on abuse and neglect charges.

Tiffany C. Johnson of Cordova was taken into custody Monday, Shelby County prosecutor Amy P. Weirich said in a statement.
The statement says Johnson, 31, took the boy to the hospital multiple times last year. Doctors say his sodium level was elevated each time, but he recovered.

The boy, who is in a wheelchair and unable to care for himself, suffered from numerous ailments that resulted in more than six hospital visits in less than half a year, reports CBS affiliate WREG.
Investigators said the boy only had episodes of the illness while in Johnson’s care and that he hasn’t had any incidents since Johnson left the nanny position in August.

A bond review hearing is set for her next week.

In another high-profile case involving alleged sodium poisoning, Lacey Spears of Scottsville, Ky., stands accused of killing her five-year-old son by forcing salt into a feeding tube in the boy’s stomach. The child died at a New York hospital.

Jury selection in that case launched Monday.

Missouri Felon Beats 2-year-old

Man Abused Child
Shaquille Stevens

GRANDVIEW, Mo. – Shaquille Stevens, 22, of Grandview, Mo., was arrested Friday and faces two counts of child abuse.

On Jan. 20, officers responded to the 12000 block of Lemon Tree Lane on a report of child abuse. When they arrived, two women told authorities the 2-year-old victim was not acting normal and was lethargic.

According to court documents, they said the victim appeared to have been beaten with a leather belt across the torso, hit in the head and had some scrapes that were scabbed over.

The victim’s mother told authorities she left the child with her boyfriend, Stevens, while she was at work. She received a text from Stevens that said he had spanked the victim, and she didn’t think anything of it.

According to court documents, the victim’s mother said Stevens told her he spanked the victim with a belt. When she arrived home, she saw the victim lying in bed with a bruised face. Stevens told her the victim also fell down the stairs. The victim’s mother said when she pulled the sheet down she saw welts and cuts all over the victim’s body.

When she told Stevens they needed to take the victim to the E.R., Stevens did not want to get in trouble for causing the injuries.

According to court documents, Stevens told officers the victim sustained their injuries after they fell down the front stairs and possibly from playing with a dog.

Stevens has a criminal history. He was found guilty of second degree robbery in Cass County in 2010, of child abuse in Belton, Mo., (on the municipal level) in 2010, and possession of a controlled substance in Jackson County in 2014.

Stevens is being held on a $100,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015.

$5,000 Bond for Kicking Infant????

Indifference toward Child Abuse
There is no excuse for Indifference toward Child Abuse

Daycare worker charged after video captures kicking

HOLIDAY, Fla. (AP) — A daycare worker on Florida’s Gulf Coast faces child abuse charges after authorities say video captured her kicking a 16-month-old girl several times.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office reports 49-year-old Linda Klemm was supervising children Saturday at Kids Stop-N-Play in Holiday when surveillance video captured Klemm kicking the top of a sleeping child’s head and then dragging the bottom of her foot across the left side of the child’s face. About 10 minutes later, after the child falls back asleep, Klemm is seen forcefully kicking the child.

The child’s mother reportedly noticed abrasions when she picked the girl up later and called authorities. Deputies responded and reviewed the surveillance video.

Klemm was jailed Saturday and then released Sunday on a $5,000 bail. It wasn’t clear if she had an attorney.

Faulty Reporting, Tainted Numbers

Texas didn’t report hundreds of Child Abuse, neglect deaths

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas has not publicly reported hundreds of abuse- and neglect-related child deaths since 2010, raising questions about the accuracy of the state’s official fatality count, an Austin American-Statesman investigation into the state’s child protection system has found.

Between 2010 and 2014, the Department of Family and Protective Services did not publicly report 655 child abuse-related fatalities, even though the department confirmed that those children had been mistreated prior to their deaths. Because Child Protective Services caseworkers decided that mistreatment or abuse did not directly cause those fatalities, state law does not require the agency to publicly reveal those numbers.

Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, who authored that law, said he was shocked that legislators were not being provided information on all of the abuse-related cases in the state. “I’m speechless,” he said.  “I want to know who these kids are. Every one of these kids has a name and has a story and would have had a life ahead of them.”

Family and Protective Services spokesman Patrick Crimmins say the agency has followed state and federal laws. And aggregate non-identifying information — such as the ages, genders and types of abuse and neglect — has always been available to anyone who wanted it. But until now, no one has.

Because of the newspaper’s inquiry, the agency plans to publicly report those numbers in the future, Crimmins said.

The finding came as part of a six-month investigation in which the newspaper reviewed nearly 800 child fatality reports from September 2009 through March 2014 that the agency did publicly report.

In 2009, the Legislature ordered CPS to publicly record such deaths in hopes of identifying patterns and discovering ways to prevent abuse deaths. But the Statesman found that CPS has not systematically analyzed those reports, meaning that in important ways, Texas’ child protection workers effectively have been operating with blinders, missing deadly patterns and key pieces of information that could help protect kids.

The newspaper’s analysis found:

  • The agency has not comprehensively tracked how often it saw children before they died of abuse or neglect — a key predictor of potential problems. Of the 779 deaths reviewed by the newspaper, the families of 374 of those children — nearly half — were visited by CPS at least once before the death. In 144 fatalities, or nearly 20 percent of the total, the agency had seen the family at least three times. In 12 instances, CPS had seen the family 10 or more times. CPS had contact with one family more than 20 times before the child died.
  • In 166 cases — a little more than 1 of every 5 reviewed by the paper — a child had been separated from a caretaker because of safety concerns prior to the fatality. In 41 of those instances, it was the same child who later died.
  • In 137 of the cases, about 1 in every 5 such fatalities, a boyfriend or girlfriend of a parent was at least partially responsible for the death. In abuse homicide cases, the number is closer to a third.
  • The paper also found that in 20 percent of child abuse beating or strangulation deaths — the way most children are killed — has been left unsolved, leaving relatives, law enforcement and local communities bereft of closure or justice.
  • Unlike some other states, Texas has not undertaken a detailed analysis of the child deaths to identify families that are at the greatest risk of hurting a child, and the state is not using that information to prevent tragedies.

CPS Commissioner John Specia said the newspaper’s analysis should prove valuable. “I want to see what the patterns are there,” he said. “I’m sure my safety folks will look at it.”

Among the most disturbing cases uncovered by the newspaper was that of 15-year-old Brandon White, who died of asphyxiation after being tied up at his Denison home.

In the years before his death, CPS was warned about Brandon’s family 23 times before he was killed by his mother’s boyfriend.
Caseworkers received complaints as early as 1999 that the Grayson County boy was being restrained, gagged, hit and neglected. His mother admitted whipping him with a belt so hard it left bruises. Still, he remained in his home.

CPS officials say they are making efforts to use death data. A State Child Fatality Review Team meets twice a year to review child deaths in an effort to understand risks faced by the state’s children.

Yet its work has been limited and, in crucial ways, is incomplete. Its information comes from local fatality review teams, charged with analyzing local child deaths and passing on the information for statewide review. The local teams are voluntary, however, and chunks of the state are unrepresented. The cases they review in a given year also typically are two years old.

Even in areas with active local death review teams, reporting rigor varies widely. Last year, 14 of the local teams did not enter any data from their child death reviews. Only 92 of the state’s 254 counties passed along data on 100 percent of their child deaths.
And while CPS is supposed to identify patterns that might help the agency anticipate its future interactions with families, that hasn’t always been done; a 2013 audit of the process found the agency “does not focus on trend analysis.” It wasn’t until December that Family and Protective Services began tracking CPS’ ongoing contacts with families on a statewide level.

“We need to do more,” said DFPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins.
Last year, Specia also created a new Office of Child Safety, designed to analyze in detail CPS’ response to previous child abuse and neglect cases. The results will help direct money and prevention programs to the highest risk families. “Now we have staff looking at those patterns,” he said.

The program has been slow to lift off. Workers are just now being hired, and the office hopes to start its work soon.