The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 5, 2013

Mother’s boyfriend to stand trial in child-abuse case

NEOSHO, Mo. — A doctor testified Tuesday that a purported fall from a toy box could not explain the injuries suffered four months ago by the 11-month-old son of Ashley Arnett while he was left in the care of her boyfriend, Chavis Burgess.

The testimony of the doctor and a sheriff’s investigator led Associate Judge Gregory Stremel to order Burgess, 19, bound over for trial on a felony count of child abuse at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing in Newton County Circuit Court.

The boy, identified in court records only by the initials “C.A.,” was taken to Freeman Hospital West in Joplin on Oct. 7 of last year with what appeared to be multiple injuries, including a skull fracture at the back of his head. He later was transferred to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Detective Mike Barnett said he contacted the defendant at the hospital in Joplin and learned that the injuries were incurred in the child’s home near Seneca. He said Burgess told him that the boy had fallen off his toy box.

“According to Mr. Burgess, he was the only one in the home besides the child when the child was hurt,” the detective said.

Barnett said the hospital staff informed him that the child had bruising to the right side of his face, a knot and bruising on his forehead, and the fracture at the back of his head. He said Burgess never offered any explanation as to how the child suffered injuries to multiple sides of the head from a fall.

The investigator said he later went to the residence and measured the height of the toy box at 16 inches. He acknowledged on cross-examination by public defender Kelly Duckering that toys were strewn about, and that the child’s head could have struck a wall near the toy box in addition to the floor.

Dr. James Anderst, director of the child abuse and neglect division of the Kansas City hospital, told the court that the child actually showed bruising of both ears as well as injuries to the front and back of his neck. He said there was evidence that he had suffered “several significant blows” to the head, and those injuries could not be explained by a fall.

He said doctors also found an older, healing fracture of the radius bone in one of the child’s arms and two burn marks on his body that were explained to the hospital staff as having been caused by sparklers on the Fourth of July. A probable-cause affidavit states that doctors suspect that a scar on the boy’s buttocks was caused by a cigarette burn.

Bound over

THE INITIAL APPEARANCE of Chavis Burgess in a trial division of Newton County Circuit Court is set for March 1.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

  • Burglary conviction draws shock prison time

    A Joplin man who received 120 days of shock incarceration time Friday in a drunken-driving case in Jasper County Circuit Court was assessed a concurrent sentence Monday in a burglary case.

    July 21, 2014

  • State audit of Joplin School District begins

    Staff members from the state auditor’s office have begun their audit of the Joplin School District, Superintendent C.J. Huff said Monday. They are expected to be in the district four days per week for the next five to six months, or perhaps longer, until the audit is complete, Huff said.

    July 21, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Family gatherings mirror circle of life

    The annual family gathering is getting bigger. There tends to be an ebb and a flow to most family gatherings. When you’re a kid, and especially if you’re a kid from a large Catholic family, the gatherings seem to be huge.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter