Alleged infant abuse case continued to April

March 11, 2014
Bobby J. Sammons

WAYNESBURG – A third continuance was granted Tuesday for a Dilliner man charged with physically abusing his infant daughter in 2013.

Harry Cancelmi, defense council for Bobby J. Sammons, 23, of 105 Ford St., asked Judge Farley Toothman for additional time to consult with an investigator who was out of town. Cancelmi said he also needs time to prepare for trial if there was no plea in the case.

Toothman granted a continuance to 1:30 p.m. at the April 15 plea court with jury selection for a possible trial slated for May 21.

During February plea court, Cancelmi asked for additional time to have a pediatric radiologist look over the medical records of the baby. The first continance was granted Jan. 22.

Pennsylvania State Police officers were called to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va., July 31 to investigate the alleged case of child abuse. It is estimated from the healing of several old breaks that they date to May 25 when the child was three days old, according to the criminal complaint filed before 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 bone. Lancaster said there were no breaks in the first X-rays but indicated four healing rib fractures on the left side, two healing rib fractures on the right to the middle, and healing left radius and ulna bones near the wrist. Dr. Michael Cunningham, a radiologist at the hospital, also viewed the X-rays and reported additional factures to the tibial bones on 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 “femur fracture was suspicious for nonaccidental trauma.”

Police said Sammons initially told them the family dog jumped onto the bed while he was out of the room and may have injured the baby. According to police, Sammons later changed his story. He told them he was changing the baby’s diaper.

When he reached across the bed for a clean one his knee went into the baby’s hip and he heard her leg pop, according to the criminal complaint.

The baby’s mother, Ashley Renee Cordwell, 18, was charged with endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person. She is free on bond.

Sammons is currently being held in the Greene County jail on $50,000 straight cash bond.

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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