- Posted February 5, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
A social worker with Coshocton County Job & Family Services’ children’s services division on Wednesday night told Director Mindy Fehrman the child was “maintaining and doing well.”
The child, Christopher Jon Starkey, had been in critical condition earlier that day at Akron Children’s Hospital, Sheriff Tim Rogers said.
Christopher is under constant supervision by staff and volunteers, Fehrman said.
“He’s reacting positively to light and sound,” she said.
Christopher has 12 fractured ribs, right femur and fibula fractures, extensive bruising to the head and face, burns to the face and scrotum and suspected liver injury, according to court documents. Additional testing was being performed.
The parents, Christopher J. Starkey, 22, and Kelsey Starkey, 20, of South Eighth Street, are being detained on $75,000 cash or surety bond after each being charged with a second-degree felony count of endangering children.
The Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office was notified of suspected abuse of the child Tuesday, when the couple took the child to Coshocton Hospital’s emergency department, according to court documents. Deputy Ernie Snyder went to the hospital and separated the Starkeys after reading them their rights.
In a sworn affidavit by Detective J.B. McKee, of the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office, Kelsey admitted to the deputy she recently had been frustrated with the child because he was crying, and stated she blacked out and didn’t remember anything after that. Christopher claimed to not have any knowledge of how the child was injured.
The couple live with Kelsey’s mother, Amy Hupp, who could not provide details of how the child’s injuries occurred, according to McKee’s statement. Hupp told McKee the burns appeared on the child Sunday evening and the bruises on the child’s face appeared Monday afternoon while the child was in the couple’s care.
In video-recorded interviews, Kelsey admitted to intentionally bruising the child by squeezing the child’s face with her hand, and to holding him by the torso and intentionally striking the child’s head on a swing in their living room about 11:30 p.m. Monday. Christopher admitted he bit the child’s left forearm, which resulted in significant bruising, and to intentionally placing a burning cigarette to the forehead of the child causing significant burns on two separate occasions Sunday.
The charge carries a possible prison sentence of two to eight years and a $15,000 fine. Coshocton County Prosecutor Jason Given suggested the $75,000 bond for each because of the felony degree, possible prison sentence involved and that his evidence includes a taped confession which could cause the accused to flee.
“I’m not going to run,” Christopher told the judge.
Christopher told Judge Timothy France he had plans to hire his own attorney with the $20,000 inheritance he received after his grandfather’s death. A family member is trustee of the funds, Christopher told France. Kelsey, who is on Social Security, was provisionally appointed a public defender for representation.
A preliminary hearing has been set for 3:30 p.m. Feb. 6 for Christopher and at 3:45 p.m. for Kelsey at Coshocton Municipal Court.
vboateng@coshocton tribune.com 740-295-3429 Twitter: @ValBoateng