The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

July 2, 2012

Affidavit: Boyfriend delayed telling mother of young child’s fatal injury

SENECA, Mo. — Zachary Roland allowed several potentially critical minutes to slip past before informing his girlfriend that something was seriously wrong with her toddler son who he had dropped on the bathroom floor, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

Roland, 20, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 22-month-old Bradley Jacob Beck.

The boy died Thursday after suffering apparent trauma to his head inside the home on Holly Road north of Seneca, where he lived with his mother, Ashley D. Seymour, 22; her boyfriend, Roland; and a sister. The cause of death officially remains under investigation, but preliminary findings of an autopsy suggest that the child died of severe head injuries, according to the Newton County coroner.

An affidavit filed Monday in Newton County Circuit Court states that Keith Norton, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy, found a 4- by 4-inch patch of blood between the scalp and skull of the child and believes that the injury must have been caused by a fall or similar form of trauma.

The affidavit states that Norton also found numerous injuries to other parts of the boy’s body, including bruises to his face, back and legs.

Roland allegedly admitted to an investigator that he hit the boy with his open hand while giving him a bath in a bathtub. The affidavit states that Roland said the child started whining, and he slapped his face.

The affidavit states that Roland acknowledged that he then picked the boy up, and the child fell from his arms, hitting his head on the bathroom floor. While the document does not state that Roland admitted dropping the child on purpose, the complaint filed against him alleges that is what took place.

The boy became unresponsive after he fell, Roland reportedly told the investigator, and he carried him into a bedroom and put him on a bed. He picked up the boy’s sister from the same bed and took her into another bedroom where their mother was. He stayed there with her and the girl for what he initially estimated was five to 10 minutes before returning to the room where the boy was, according to the affidavit. During that time, Roland never told the mother that he had dropped her son or that the child had become unresponsive, the document states.

Roland later changed his account, limiting his length of stay in the room with the mother to just three or four minutes, according to the affidavit. The mother estimated the length of time Roland spent there with her at five to 10 minutes, according to the affidavit.

Roland told the investigator that when he went back to the room where the boy was, he acted as if he had just discovered the child in an unresponsive state.

Seymour called 911 about 5 p.m. Thursday and reported that her son was not breathing. The boy was unresponsive and not breathing when emergency personnel arrived at the home minutes later. He was taken to Freeman Hospital West in Joplin, where he was pronounced dead.

$1 million bond

ZACHARY D. ROLAND remained in custody Monday at the Newton County Jail in Neosho with his bond set at $1 million.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

     moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Friday’s Joplin Globe.

    April 17, 2014

  • More volunteers, donations sought for ‘Victory 4 Haiti’

    The second meals-for-Haiti project, scheduled for April 26, is in need of donations and volunteers, organizers say. “Victory 4 Haiti,” a food-packaging event that will provide meals to the Haitian Christian Mission in the village of Fond-Parisien and elsewhere in Haiti, needs $60,000 to pay for about 280,000 meals.

    April 16, 2014

  • TIF proposal filed for development of area at 44th Street and Range Line

    Joplin’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold an informational meeting today on a proposal to establish a TIF district to pay for a wetlands project on property in the area of 44th Street and Range Line, where a developer wants to build a retail, office and hospitality district.

    April 16, 2014

  • 041614 MDOT5_72.jpg JATSO recommends 15 road projects for planning

    The reconstruction of the Highway 171/Interstate 49 interchange at Carthage and the construction of a limited-access highway on the west side of Joplin and Carl Junction are among the top highway projects to be identified by the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization.
     

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued

    As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.

    The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.

    April 16, 2014

  • Joplin city attorney takes job in Lee’s Summit

    City Attorney Brian Head will leave his Joplin post next month for a job in Lee’s Summit in suburban Kansas City. Head submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday morning to Mayor Mike Seibert and the City Council. The council is his employer.

    April 16, 2014