Amber Alert cancelled: Infant abducted out of Palestine found safe in Arkansas
Jax Dean Laymance, 8-months-old, has been found safe in White County, Arkansas.
I didn’t receive this until saturday, although the fact that Jax was found in Arkansas didn’t come thru until later in the evening. Apparently Police are still searching for Jeremy Dean Laymance and Morgan Lynn Mosely in connection with Jax’s abduction.
Montgomery leads the way on prosecuting
Montgomery County, MD – Cases involving the deaths of very young children are not easy to prosecute. There usually are no witnesses, the medical information is often complicated, emotions are fraught, and it is always hard to believe that anyone — least of all those whose care the child has been placed in — would want to cause harm. So a trio of convictions in child deaths won by Montgomery County prosecutors over the past year is noteworthy, underscoring State’s Attorney John McCarthy’s priority in combating crimes against society’s most helpless.
“Trevor would have been 8 years old, he would have been in second grade. He would have had a joyful life. But now there are only tears and sadness and a void that his death left behind,” Assistant State’s Attorney Debbie Feinstein told the jury that this month found day-care provider Gail Dobson guilty of second-degree murder in the Sept. 3, 2009, death of 9-month-old Trevor Ulrich. It was the second time the Eastern Shore woman had been found guilty; an earlier conviction was overturned on the grounds of ineffective counsel, and the case became ensnared in an ongoing debate over the validity of Shaken Baby Syndrome and abusive head trauma.
Montgomery prosecutors, who took over the case because of conflicts by Talbot County officials, used Ms. Dobson’s conviction — along with the convictions in Montgomery last year of Moussa Sissoko (sentenced to life in prison with all but 50 years suspended for killing his infant son for $750,000 in insurance) and Adou Louis Kouadio (sentenced to 40 years in the murder of his 2-month-old son) — to make critical points: that dynamic head movement and impact can do great damage to young brains and those who might suggest otherwise do a great disservice.
“Junk science” was Mr. McCarthy’s characterization as he pointed out that the experts who “supposedly should have been called” in Ms. Dobson’s first trial were not allowed to testify in the second trial because they failed to meet the legal standard.
The possibility always exists that a person could be wrongly accused in a child’s death because of sloppy work by investigators or medical personnel. But testimony in Ms. Dobson’s case detailed the painstaking process — including the work of experts at Children’s National Medical Center — used to determine the cause of death and how investigators looked for other causes and tried to rule out abuse. The resources that Mr. McCarthy’s office has devoted to investigation of child abuse and deaths — including Ms. Feinstein’s development into a national expert — set a model that other jurisdictions should follow.
Great Falls, MT – A bill introduced to the state House Human Service Committee on Wednesday night looks to install a five-year plan that would address the growing child abuse and neglect issue statewide.
Kimberly Dudik, D-Missoula, is sponsoring HB 517, which would require the Department of Public Health and Human Services to form a strategic plan by Aug. 15, 2018. That plan would work to reduce child abuse and neglect statewide over a five-year period.
Dudik told the Tribune while the DPHHS already works to alleviate child abuse and neglect, it has never had a plan mandated by the state Legislature.
“Oklahoma has had such a plan but we haven’t seen it in Montana,” she said. “This is geared at having the Legislature say we would like a strategic plan in place to develop this.”
Numbers Dudik used in support of the bill showed child abuse and neglect cases taking leaps in the last six years: 1,030 cases in 2010 jumping to 2,433 in 2016. In Cascade County alone, child abuse and neglect cases climbed from 112 in 2009 to 386 in 2015.
Simultaneously, 230 children were removed from homes in meth-related cases in 2010, compared to 1,050 in 2016.
Dudik said much of the growth in abuse and neglect cases is directly attributed to growing drug use in the state.
“We’ve really got to get a handle on this in our state to help the next generations of kids growing up here,” she said.
As well as mitigating the factors that cause child abuse and neglect, the plan would look at factors specific to both urban, rural and reservation areas within Montana to quantify cases and attempt to project the case numbers in years ahead. The plan would also examine the effects of abuse and neglect on children, families and society, as well has the developmental issues abuse and neglect leaves on children.
The plan would bring several agencies together in order to compile the information, including the Montana children’s trust fund, state advisory council for child and family services, the governor’s Montana Kids Commission, tribal communities, juvenile courts, law enforcement and others.
Laura Smith, deputy director of the DPHHS, said the bill would mandate agencies come together for the plan.
“This brings really unique expertise to the table and breaks down silos on a critical issue,” she said before the committee.
Representatives from the U.S. Supreme Court, Montana Association of Christians, Montana Protect Kids Commission and a youth services organizations also testified in support of the bill. No opponents spoke against it.
Currently, the fiscal note attached to the bill requests $18,000 in total expenditures to develop the plan, although Dudik on Wednesday said that number may change. Dudik told the Tribune Thursday that the number is adjustable to the funding appropriated to the DPHHS this year, and the plan will likely be developed if the bill is amended to request no funding at all.
“It was depending on how much of their funding was going to be cut, but some of it was restored,” Dudik said. “Nonetheless, (Smith) is confident the DPHHS can do this within the time frame given to them.”
Smith confirmed this in her testimony Wednesday night.
“It is important and we will make it a priority,” Smith told the committee.
If the measure passes, the DPHHS would deliver the plan to the children, families, health and human services interim committee and the legislative finance committee prior to the 2019 session.
The House Human Services committee will look to take executive action in the coming weeks. The next hearing is not yet scheduled.
Man charged with Child Abuse after
spanking is caught on camera
HOUSTON, TX – A man has been charged with child abuse after investigators said he hit a 7-year-old boy 62 times within five minutes in Acres Homes.
The incident was witnessed by a bystander who called police, and was captured by a surveillance camera near the man’s Houston apartment.
“He saw a vehicle pull up at one of our illegal dumping sites and saw a man get out of a car and take a young child out of the car and proceed to just beat him senselessly,” said Harris County Constable Alan Rosen.
Investigators said Kordarell Williams, 27, pulled over at James Franklin Street and Esther on Thursday evening and used his hands and a belt to hit his girlfriend’s 7-year-old son all over his body.
“He struck this child 62 times, put him in a headlock and knocked him over on numerous occasions with the blows,” said Rosen.
Detectives said Williams is the boyfriend of the boy’s mother.
They used the license plate in the video to track Williams down and in three hours, deputies arrested him.
Wearing jeans and a black shirt, Williams made his first court appearance Friday afternoon.
“They observed the complainant to have bruising on both eyes and a swollen right eye, welts on his buttocks, legs and welts on his chest and bruising on his neck,” said the prosecutor.
Williams admitted to investigators he hit the boy, but only 16 times, for stealing a phone charger.
“This is just hard for me to describe. The brutalness of how he beat this child,” said Rosen.
The boy allegedly told deputies Williams had beat him in the past.
On Friday, the boy was in CPS custody.