UPDATED: Father arrested; 2 children placed in protective supervision after infant suffers brain injuries
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 7:04 PM
A Hillsboro man has been arrested and charged with felonious assault after his infant was hospitalized in critical condition.
The following report was released Wednesday evening by the Hillsboro Police Department:
“On March 12, the Hillsboro Police Department received information that a 3-week-old child was brought to the Highland District Hospital in the early morning hours. The child was then transported by life squad to Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, where the child was listed as in critical condition due to suspicious circumstances, at which time our department was contacted.
“The Interim Chief of Police, G. Steven Browder, assigned officers to the case for investigation, and officers began by responding to Children’s Hospital, where it was discovered that the child’s injuries were suspected to be from the infant being abused.
“On March 15, at approximately 4:03 p.m., the Hillsboro Police Department arrested the infant’s natural father; Martin D. Proctor, 27, of Hillsboro, for a second-degree felony of felonious assault, and Proctor was transported to the Highland County Jail.
“Interim Chief Browder, the Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins, Highland County Children Services and investigating officers have continued to work together during the course of this active and still ongoing investigation. Possible additional charges could be filed in the near future pending the conclusion of the investigation, but at this time, this is still an active investigation.”
The original article from this morning’s hearing in Highland County Juvenile Court follows.
Highland County Juvenile Court Judge Kevin Greer granted a request from Highland County Children Services for “court-ordered protective supervision” of a 1-month-old transported to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with severe injuries.
The infant’s father, Martin Proctor of Hillsboro, is alleged to have caused “significant subdural hematoma” in the infant, according to court testimony and a complaint filed in Highland County Juvenile Court.
Greer also granted an order of no contact between Proctor and the infant, as well as one between Proctor and his 8-year-old child.
The parents of the infant victim arrived at the hearing approximately five minutes after the hearing began, at which time Greer explained that they would not be permitted to testify and that they were entitled to legal counsel.
“The allegations in this complaint are horrific and could result in extremely serious criminal charges being filed,” Greer said. “That’s up to the prosecutor, not to me, and whether those charges will be filed or not will be determined, I’m sure, in the next few days or weeks. Because of potential criminal actions being filed, you will need legal counsel before you will be allowed to testify.”
After Greer granted the orders, Proctor was warned not to speak out of turn.
“There’s a lot of allegations here, and that’s all they are,” Greer said to Proctor. “You kind of lost your composure, according to these allegations, with Children’s Hospital. You come in here with your body language, having a real …”
Proctor began to interrupt, but Greer told him to “Keep your mouth shut, sir, unless you want to end up in jail.”
“If you get out of hand in this building anywhere, I want to know about it, and you will go to our Justice Center for as long as I think you need to be there,” Greer said.
According to Greer, he reviewed and granted “emergency orders” to place both of Proctor’s children in temporary custody of the agency at approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday. Greer asked for testimony from the case worker, Wendy Setty of Highland County Children Services, “so we have something on the record.”
According to Setty, the agency was told on March 12 that a 1-month-old infant was “transported to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where it was found [the infant] had severe subdural hematomas, which is bleeding on the brain, and was on a ventilator due to a medically induced coma because [the infant] was having seizures caused by the bleeding.”
Upon being asked about the investigation into the child’s injuries, Setty testified that she and another case worker, Hannah Allard, along with Hillsboro police officers Adam Day and Aaron Reynolds interviewed the infant’s parents at Children’s Hospital “the evening of the 12th into the morning of Monday the 13th.”
“After speaking with Martin, it was found that he was home alone with [the 8-year-old] and [the infant],” Setty said. “He reported that he had tripped over a cord; fell, dropping [the infant]; and when he picked her up, she was crying and would not stop, so then he shook her until she went limp. Then, when she finally came back around, she was screaming so loud she turned purple and began seizing.”
The infant remains at Children’s Hospital and is “expected to be for quite some time,” Setty said, as the child is still in a coma.
Highland County assistant prosecutor James Roeder told Greer that they were seeking the additional order of no contact for Proctor and his 8-year-old child.
“Some things arose after the filing, basically, in the last 24 hours,” Roeder said.
Setty testified that the agency was familiar with the family due to allegations last year that Proctor left the 8-year-old “home alone” while Proctor was at work. While being interviewed by case workers and law enforcement this week, the 8-year-old alleged that Proctor “had punched him in the face” and given him a black eye “approximately a month ago.”
Setty said that after the 8-year-old was placed in the care of the infant’s grandmother, Proctor allegedly called the woman “advising that she needed to bring him [the 8-year-old], and that if she did not, she would not like the outcome.” The child stayed with the woman last night, Setty said, but the agency is not comfortable allowing the 8-year-old to stay in that home.
A pretrial hearing is scheduled for April 12 at 10 a.m.