FAIRMONT — A 28-year-old woman who allegedly locked her 3-year-old son in a closet, tortured and deprived him of food faces a preliminary hearing May 16.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by DHHR workers, found the child May 9 at 106 Monongah Heights where they arrested Brittany Nicole Lippencott. Marion County Magistrate Melissa Pride Linger scheduled Lippencott’s hearing for 3 p.m. on May 16.

According to the records, Lippencott is charged with child neglect resulting in serious injury and gross neglect of a child creating a substantial risk of death of serious bodily injury. Both charges are felonies.

Lippencott is in North Central Regional Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

A criminal complaint states that a detective with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office was at 106 Monongah Heights in Marion County May 9 assisting West Virginia DHHR workers conduct a home check.

Lippencott, whom police said had numerous outstanding warrants for drug charges, was the subject of the home check. There was an anonymous referral that Lippencott was allegedly distributing controlled substances with children in the residence, the complaint states.

Police contacted Lippencotts’s mother, who in turn, said no one was at the residence, according to the complaint.

While there, deputies saw a woman, identified as Lippencott, walking down a hallway toward rooms.

According to the court papers, there was a doorway located first on the left that was locked shut with an eye bolt and hook.

One of the law enforcement officers, a sergeant, opened the door and stated, “they’ve got kids locked in here,” the complaint states.

After the scene was secured, the detective was advised that a three-year-old male child was found in the locked room and appeared in poor health, according to the court papers. The sergeant said the child had been in “just his underwear” when he opened the door, and his appearance was “emaciated, pale, with apparent bruising on his face near the eye and mouth.” Police said the child was able to verbally communicate with the officers and DHHR workers.

According to the court papers, police found digital hand scales, plastic bags with white residue and plates with white residue and snorting straws in the residence. A search warrant was obtained and the items were seized.

The child was transported by DHHR to Fairmont Regional Medical Center for a wellness check and was photographed to document his condition. The complaint states that upon a visual inspection of the child’s condition, a complete outline of the child’s rib cage was visually apparent from the front and back views because of emaciation.

Upon inspection of the child’s backside, it was found that because of the emaciation, the child has no formed buttock, but rather sagging skin, the court papers state.

Police and healthcare officials found the child’s face bruised near the eyes and mouth, and the child’s back had a laceration on the lower section. The complaint states that the child’s genitals also had signs of trauma.

The child was then transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown for further treatment, and because of his genital injuries, a sexual assault exam was completed.

When an examiner asked about injuries to the child’s lip, he allegedly responded “mommy did it with pliers,” the complaint states. Medical records of the child’s treatment at Ruby Memorial Hospital showed the child weighed 22.6 pounds, six ounces and is two feet 11 inches tall.

The court papers state that the medical records further indicate that when asked about the injuries to his privates, the child allegedly replied, “mom hurt me with the pliers.” Also, the child allegedly stated he has to “sit at the table and watch them eat, it’s not my turn,” according to the complaint.

In a police interview, Lippencott allegedly stated she noticed issues with the child in October 2018 and he has not seen a doctor. She allegedly stated that he “needs help, he needs to go to a doctor.”

“Miss Lippencott stated…(the child)… had not been to a doctor in a year and she had not sought treatment for his issues,” the complaint reads. Lippencott allegedly stated she would lock the child in his room at night “a couple times,” but usually during the day.

Eric Hrin can be reached at 304-367-2549, or ehrin@timeswv.com.

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