Sheriff: Parents Arrested For Abusing 3-Month-Old

5:38 PM, Jun 1, 2010   |    comments
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Video: Parents Charged In Child Abuse Case

Plaster, Fortenberry

Sandy Ridge, NC -- Two people were arrested and jailed after an investigation into the abuse of an infant.

Stokes County Sheriff's deputies began the investigation on April 22 after a three-month-old was taken to Morehead Eden Hospital with severe trauma. The infant was airlifted to Baptist Hospital.

Doctors say the child had various broken ribs, a broken right leg and severe head trauma including retinal and brain hemorrhaging. Doctors determined the injuries were non-accidental.

Investigators then arrested Shannon Fortenberry, 37, and William Plaster, 37, of the same address. Investigators says they are the infant's parents.

Both are charged with Attempted First Degree Murder, Assault With A Deadly Weapon With Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury, Felony Child Abuse, and Child Abuse Inflicting Serious Injury. Both are jailed under a $10 million bond.

Detective Kelly Craine with the Stokes County Sheriff's Office tells WFMY News 2 the father originally said the baby fell off the couch. Craine says there is no way falling off the couch could have caused the baby's injuries.

An MRI shows signs of healing ribs, evidence of previous beating, according to Craine. Child Protective Services had not previously investigated the couple for abuse. Neighbors also say they didn't know of abuse to the infant.

The infant is currently in a "permanent vegetative state" with irreversible neurological damage, according to Craine.

Craine says each parent does have other kids, but those children didn't live with the couple.

Plaster's aunt, who lives next door, says she did not notice any signs of abuse when she saw the baby. Mary Martin said when she learned of the alleged abuse, she could not bear to look at his pictures, so she turned the frames over.

WFMY News 2

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