Father charged for allegedly abusing infant daughter

November 5, 2013
Bobby Sammons

DILLINER – A Greene Township man is in jail on $50,000 cash bond for allegedly abusing his infant daughter and causing multiple bone fractures.

Police arrested Bobby Jarond Sammons, 23, of 105 Ford St., Dilliner, Monday and charged him with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children, simple assault and reckless endangerment.

State police officers were called to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va., July 31 to investigate an alleged case of child abuse involving a 2-month-old girl. It was estimated from the healing of several old breaks that they dated back to when the child was just days old, according to the criminal complaint filed Monday with Greene County Magisterial District Judge Lee Watson.

Dr. Jeffrey Lancaster showed police X-rays of the child taken at birth at Ruby Memorial Hospital and those taken when she was brought in with a broken right femur. Lancaster said there were no breaks in the first X-rays but the most recent ones showed four healing rib fractures on the left side, two healing rib fractures on the right to the middle and healing left arm bones near the wrist. Dr. Michael Cunningham, a radiologist at the hospital, also viewed the X-rays and reported additional factures to the right and left lower legs that were healing.

When police arrived at the child’s hospital room she was lying in bed with a sling on both of her legs for a right femur bone fracture, police said. Doctors told police the fracture was suspicious.

Police interviewed Sammons at the hospital. He told them he is the primary caregiver for his daughter. Police said he told them he got up with her that morning, fed her, changed her diaper and wrapped her in a blanket. He said he then left the room to use the bathroom, in the process moving a gate that keeps the family dogs out of the room where the baby was laying. According to the criminal complaint, Sammons said he heard the baby crying and returned to find their boxer puppy on the bed next to her. He said he calmed the baby down and she went back to sleep.

Sammons told police she was very fussy the next day but he didn’t think the dog had hurt her. He said he observed swelling on her hip and applied ice but did not have a vehicle to take her to the hospital until the baby’s maternal grandmother came home from work.

Sammons took a polygraph test Aug. 16 at the Waynesburg state police barracks, which he failed. Police said Sammons’ story changed at this time.

Sammons then told police he was changing the baby’s diaper and reached across the bed when his knee went into the baby’s hip. Police said Sammons told them he heard her leg pop and he picked her up to calm her down. The baby’s mother, Ashley Cordwell, woke up when her daughter started crying and told him to give her a bottle, Sammons said. According to the complaint, Sammons told Cordwell the dog jumped on the baby.

The following morning the infant awoke fussy but her leg appeared to be normal, Sammons told police. Later in the day, he noticed swelling. The couple took her to the hospital when Cordwell’s mother arrived home. Police said Sammons could not explain the other injuries to the baby but said she had fallen out of her car seat at some point onto a hardwood floor and believed that fall might have caused them.

A preliminary hearing in the matter is scheduled for 2 p.m. Nov. 14 before Watson.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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