Canonsburg mother, boyfriend charged in assault of daughter

January 28, 2014
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From left, Danielle Jeffers and Zachary Mingo
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Zachary Mingo
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Danielle Jeffers

A Canonsburg woman and a man described as her on-again, off-again boyfriend were charged Friday after he allegedly hit her 4-year-old daughter across the legs with a wooden board several months ago.

Danielle Jeffers, 23, of 106 Colonial Way, Canonsburg, and Zachary Mingo, 26, of West Newton, are charged with simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment.

Canonsburg police were notified Sept. 17 of the alleged assault by a caseworker for Washington County Children and Youth Services. Workers at SmartKids Day Care found large, healing bruises across the front of both of the girl’s thighs.

When the caseworker asked the 4-year-old about being punished, the girl answered she was spanked and sent to time out. When asked who spanked her, the girl told the caseworker that Mingo and her mother hit her with a medium board. The girl pulled up her pants legs to show the caseworker her injuries. She said her sister had also been hit with the board, but police said the other girl did not show any signs of recent injuries.

The caseworker and police talked with Mingo. He admitted to disciplining the children, but said he smacked them on the buttocks. Mingo denied using a paddle and told police he did not know why the girl would make those claims against him.

Police and the caseworker then went to Jeffers’ home. Jeffers told them she knew nothing of the bruises and how they got there. When the caseworker questioned her about the use of a board in disciplining the girls, Jeffers denied the use but then started crying hysterically. She claimed she would not let anything like that happen to her kids.

Charges will be sent by summons from the office of District Judge David Mark. A preliminary hearing is set for March 5. It is not known who has custody of the girls.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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