Paternal grandparents Terry and Diana Franklin say they picked up their 3-year-old grandson from St. Francis Medical Center in Tulsa on May 7 after he sustained life-threatening injuries from alleged abuse
that was discovered on May 1. Now, they say the boy has been removed from their home and placed where one of the alleged abusers has access to the boy and where they say he was not protected properly.
On May 3, Billy Jack Russell, 38, and Kelley Good, 27, both of Eufaula, were charged in Pittsburg County District Court in relation to the alleged abuse of the 3-year-old boy.
According to a police affidavit, Good said the child sustained injuries on April 30 at approximately 11 p.m. after Russell paddled him during potty training. The injuries were not reported until the next evening, May 1, at 10 p.m. by a maternal uncle after the uncle received a call from the maternal grandmother with concerns about the abuse.
Russell is accused of beating the 3-year-old boy with a paddle and his hand and Good is accused of allowing the abuse to occur.
Russell was charged with one count of child abuse by injury and Good was charged with one count of enabling or permitting child abuse by injury.
According to court records, Russell allegedly struck the young child with his hand and a paddle in the butt, back and legs.
A police affidavit indicates that Russell was attempting to “potty train” the youngster. The child refused to use the toilet and Russell allegedly got a paddle and started spanking him, the affidavit states.
When authorities arrived on the scene, Russell was gone, but they noticed bruising around the outside of the child’s diaper, the affidavit states. When they took the young boy’s diaper off, they saw his buttock was completely bruised, the affidavit states.
According to the Franklins, the child’s injuries were so severe he couldn’t walk and was suffering kidney failure during his stay at the hospital.
The 3-year-old’s patient discharge records from St. Francis Hospital states that the reason for the boy’s hospitalization was trauma, hematuria and renal failure.
The young boy’s father, Eric Franklin, said he had made attempts for a few months prior to the incident to see the child and said Good would tell him that she would arrange a visit. However, he said when he went to see the boy, she would tell him that they were not there and he would have to see the boy another day.
Eric Franklin said he has some things in his past he is not proud of, but he said he has maintained his own home and employment for more than a year, doesn’t have any drug or alcohol-related charges, and completed all court ordered anger management classes as a result of a 2010 domestic assault charge. He said he was not considered for custody of the child and wonders why.
On May 4, when Good first appeared in court on the charge, she was ordered to have no contact with the child. On May 22, Good posted a $50,000 bond and was released from custody at the Pittsburg County Jail.
On June 12, court records indicate that the legal conditions of Good’s bond were amended to allow Good to have supervised visitation with the child through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
Now, according to the Franklins, the young boy is back where Good has full access to the boy.
County DHS Director Sammy McClendon responded by email.
“Our goal is to reunite children with their families whenever that is safely possible.”
On June 19, the Franklins said they still had the child in their custody. They received a call at home at approximately 12:30 p.m. from a woman who said she was the new DHS case worker. The Franklins were informed that the alleged abused child’s mother had been granted court-ordered visitations. Diana Franklin said she told the case worker, who she was unfamiliar with, that she had to go work and asked to reschedule. Terry Franklin said that while his wife was at work that day, someone from DHS called him to schedule a visitation, so the mother could visit with the boy.
Diana Franklin said the case worker told them they would no longer be the care providers of the child. Diana Franklin asked why and she said the case worker said that DHS did not have to tell her why.
The Franklins want to be able to care for the young boy and keep him out of an abusive home.
If convicted, both Russell and Good are facing up to life in prison. Good is due back in court June 29 at 9 a.m.
Russell is currently in custody at the LeFlore County Detention Center and his child abuse case is pending.
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