The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

September 4, 2012

Man to stand trial in death of toddler Ada Bowman

NEOSHO, Mo. — An investigator testified Tuesday that 18-month-old Ada Bowman’s injuries were more severe than could be explained by the “accidents” her mother’s boyfriend acknowledged during a probe of the girl’s death.

Detective Mike Barnett of the Newton County Sheriff’s Department was the lone witness called at the preliminary hearing of Bryant L. Sykes Jr., 24, in Newton County Circuit Court.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Associate Judge Gregory Stremel ordered Sykes bound over for trial on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of the girl.

The girl died Aug. 4 at a Kansas City hospital, four days after suffering critical injuries at her family’s home in the Bykota Mobile Home Park outside Joplin.

“She died of massive trauma to both her head and torso,” Barnett told the court on direct examination by Prosecutor Jake Skouby.

The detective said that during an interview of Sykes at the sheriff’s office, the defendant described three separate incidents that had taken place in the 24 hours leading up to a 911 call for emergency medical assistance the night of July 31. Each was offered as an explanation of how the girl suffered her injuries, he said.

Barnett said Sykes told him that the first incident took place the night before the 911 call was placed. Sykes said he heard the girl crying and discovered that she had fallen out a window of their mobile home into their yard, the detective testified.

The defendant then described an incident the next day when the toddler and her siblings, ages 3 and 2, got into a bowl of dog food and made a mess, and he became angry with them. Sykes admitted picking the girl up and tossing her, Barnett said.

“She bounced off a bed and into a coffee table,” he said.

A probable-cause affidavit states that Sykes told Barnett that the girl’s abdomen began to swell, and she began acting “different.”

Barnett said a third incident that Sykes described took place a short time before the 911 call was placed. The defendant said he had set the girl on the kitchen table to help her cool off, and she had fallen and struck her head on the floor. The girl reportedly became unresponsive at that point, and Sykes told Barnett he tried to revive her.

“Did he tell you that when the child was unresponsive, he went for help?” public defender Agnes Prevendarcsik-Hoell asked the detective on cross-examination.

“He said he yelled for help,” Barnett said.

Prevendarcsik-Hoell questioned Barnett concerning who else was in the home at the time. The detective said the girl lived there with her mother, her two siblings, her maternal grandmother and Sykes, the mother’s boyfriend. The mother was asleep when Sykes said the girl fell out the window and was at the store when she fell off the table, the detective said.

Barnett said no injuries were noted on either of the other two children. The preliminary findings of an autopsy indicated that the girl’s injuries were “more severe” than any she might have suffered in the three “accidents” described by Sykes, he said.

The detective acknowledged on cross-examination that the autopsy found evidence of older bruising on the girl’s back, but he said he did not know how old those bruises were. He told the court that the mother, Gina Salazar, 22, made no admissions to investigators with respect to her daughter’s injuries.

The public defender asked if any effort was made to interview the brother and sister concerning the girl’s injuries.

“Attempts were made with the older one, but they were obviously too young to understand,” Barnett said.



Court appearance

JUDGE GREGORY STREMEL set Bryant Sykes’ initial appearance in a trial division of the court for Friday.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0420earthday.jpg Prairie State Park kicks off Earth Day events

    Prairie State Park began celebrating Earth Day early with an event Saturday that provided a chance for people of all ages to learn more about how they can protect the environment.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Catholic schools to hold annual spring auction

    The Joplin Area Catholic Schools spring auction will be staged Saturday at the Jack Lawton Webb Convention Center, 5300 S. Range Line Road in Joplin.

    April 19, 2014

  • Wally Kennedy MUG72.jpg Wally Kennedy: Another pizza choice and ice cream on the way

    A new pizza restaurant is coming to the northwest corner of Stone’s Corner in the Village of Airport Drive. Piez is opening this week in a storefront that formerly housed Quincy Magoo’s, 6039 N. Main Street Road, which has been closed for more than two years.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mike pound_cnhi .jpg Mike Pound: No more hiding Easter eggs or emotions

    Well, that’s a wrap on the Easter egg hunts. For about 15 years we have staged not one, but two Easter egg hunts for our now 16-year-old daughter, Emma.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Missouri Republicans are considering a new approach to prevent federal agents from enforcing laws the state considers to be infringements on gun rights: barring them from future careers in state law enforcement agencies. Do you think this proposal has merit?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter