Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 22, 2014

Trial set in baby’s death

WELCH — A trial date was set Friday in McDowell County Circuit Court for an Isaban man who was named in a two-count indictment returned last week, charging him with one count of child abuse resulting in death and one count of child neglect resulting in death.

Anthony Hart, 24, of Isaban, appeared Friday before McDowell County Circuit Court Judge Rudolph J. “Rick” Murensky II who scheduled Hart’s trial for July 14, at 9 a.m., according to personnel in the McDowell prosecutor’s office. The charges stem from the Sept. 9, 2013 death of the defendant’s four-month-old infant son — a child that had been born two months premature.

Trooper C.A. Dunn, of the Welch Detachment of the West Virginia State Police was called out at 2:35 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2013 by emergency services personnel who were transporting the unresponsive infant to Welch Community Hospital.

“At first they thought the child lived in Mingo County, and that I was just going there to take a statement for another detachment, but when they found out the infant lived in McDowell County, I started conducting interviews for my investigation. I met the EMS crew at Welch Community Hospital where the ER doctor, Dr. Sherwood Leo, pronounced the infant dead,” Dunn said.

After obtaining a statement from the infant’s mother, he learned that she was not in the house at the time the infant was injured. However, the father gave conflicting statements regarding the incident, prompting Dunn to visit the residence to look deeper into the evidence.

The infant was transported to the State Medical Examiners office in South Charleston where Dr. Nabila Haikal conducted an autopsy on Sept. 9, 2013. Dr. Haikal reported that the infant suffered a “closed head injury” that caused internal bleeding and led to brain swelling. In addition, Haikal found “multiple soft tissue injuries of different ages” and as a result found underlying abuse and a non-accidental cause of injuries. “The manor of death is classified as homicide,” Dunn said, reading from Haikal’s report.

As part of the investigation, Dunn said he and Sgt. C.F. Kane, Detachment Commander of the Welch Detachment of the West Virginia State Police took measurements of the bed and photographs of the bedroom where the defendant said the infant was injured in a fall from the bed.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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