By Misty Poe
Times West Virginian
After a concerned citizen reported what he believed to be an abused child at a local grocery store, a couple are facing child abuse and child neglect charges.
On Feb. 16, a local man saw a toddler with bruising around his face at a White Hall grocery store enter a car with two adults, according to a report filed by Sgt. Adam Scott of the West Virginia State Police. Because he was concerned for the child's safety, the man wrote down a partial plate number as well as a vehicle description and gave it to a State Police officer.
In the report, Scott says the vehicle belonged to the boyfriend of the child's grandmother, who reported that he and the grandmother were keeping the 2-year-old boy because the couple was concerned for his safety. Following an interview with the grandparents and evaluating the injuries of the child, Scott met with the mother of child, Nicole O’Dell, at her apartment at Unity Terrace in Fairmont.
O’Dell initially told Scott that the boy fell on a rocking chair, but later in the interview said that she believed her boyfriend, Tony Todd, hurt the child.
While being interviewed, Todd, too, told Scott the boy fell on a rocking chair and had accidentally hit himself in the face with Legos. Further into the interview, Todd admitted to hitting the boy in the face, causing him to fall into the rocking chair and slapping him on three or four other occasions, a criminal complaint against Todd reads.
Todd has been charged with two counts of child abuse resulting in risk of injury and one count of child abuse with injury. Each felony count comes with a prison sentence of one to five years, if convicted of the crime. Todd is being held at North Central Regional Jail with a $45,000 cash or surety bond.
O’Dell has been charged with two counts of child abuse resulting in risk of injury. O’Dell has posted $70,000 bail.
Email Misty Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @MistyPoeTWV.