Three individuals, including the aunt of the child, are accused of beating, branding, stabbing, and starving a then 14-year-old foster child, court documents state.
Mary Whitehead, 60; Michael Frisbee Miles, 55; and a third individual, all of McAlester, were charged August 13 with four counts of felony child abuse by injury, according to documents filed by the office of District 18 District Attorney Chuck Sullivan.
Jail records show Whitehead posted a $25,000 bond Aug. 10, while Miles was being held as of Wednesday on a $75,000 bail in the Pittsburg County Jail.
Miles also faces eight counts of felony possession of firearm after former felony conviction, according to court documents. He was convicted in 2011 in Wagoner County District Court with felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Records show the third individual has not been arrested for the charges and a warrant for his arrest has not been issued as of press time Wednesday.
According to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Deputy Alena Ashalintubbi, the deputy wrote that on Aug. 8, she met two case workers from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and from the Choctaw Nation Children and Family Services at a convenience store in Bache.
The two workers told Ashalintubbi that a DHS referral was made after a 15-year-old boy disclosed to his new foster parents of alleged physical abuse at his previous foster home, the affidavit states.
According to the deputy’s report, the new foster parents took the child to the Choctaw Nation Health Care Center in Talihina, where a doctor observed numerous scars and markings on the child.
Ashalintubbi wrote in her report that the doctor’s report showed that the child had five superficial burn wounds to his left anterior thigh, healed linear scares on his left lateral thigh that appeared to be stab wounds, 12 superficial burn wounds arraigned in a circular pattern over his groin area, one healed circular marking over the right side of his penile shaft, eight healed circular markings over his right buttock, and two healed circular markings on his left buttock.
The deputy, along with the two case workers, traveled to the child’s former residence – where three other children resided – and spoke with Whitehead and other adults that were living in the home, the affidavit states.
During an Aug. 9 forensic interview, the child told investigators that he had lived with his aunt – identified as Whitehead – last year before leaving to live at his current residence after Thanksgiving, the report states.
The boy told investigators he once forgot to feed the animals by two hours and Whitehead allegedly made the boy “sit and sleep” near the fireplace for almost a week and did not give the boy any food for a week, the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, the boy allegedly witnessed Whitehead slap and beat one of the other children in the household and he would lie to her and her brother – identified as Miles – to stop the beating of the child because he knew it wasn’t the other child’s fault and he would receive a bust on the back side.
The boy told the investigators that they would use a belt, a three-feet-long board with holes in it, and a five-feet-long switch, which after the beating appeared only two feet long, the report states.
According to the affidavit, the boy continued to tell investigators that the items were used “everywhere” on his body and that marks were left on his back, legs, and chest with scars left on his chest from where he was hit.
Investigators were told by the boy that Whitehead and Miles would brand him “from his knee cap to his rear where nobody would see it” and that the two would use an iron from a ranch in Texas and anything they could find to heat up, the affidavit states.
When asked to describe what they used to burn him, the boy stated that they used “a tool to stick in cars and would attach something to it” and that they burned him “at least fifteen times” with anything and “quite a few times” with the object he tried to describe, the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, the boy said that he got a hold of the object and “threw it in the ditch as far as he could” where a creek runs through.
The deputy noted in her report that after listening to the boy’s description of the object, that it sounded to resemble a socket wrench used to work on vehicles.
When asked where the brandings took place, the boy told the investigators that it always occurred in the barn and that they would do it when no one else was home and the other kids were at a friend’s house, the affidavit states.
The boy also told investigators of a time when he was sleep walking and was awoken by Whitehead and Miles and was branded by the two on his left upper thigh, the affidavit states.
The report states the boy told investigators of two more incidents involving the branding of private areas.
According to the report, the boy then told investigators that Whitehead and Miles “used a screwdriver on his side” and then pointed to his left thigh and said, “they actually stabbed me in my leg with a Phillips screwdriver,” and that it happened two weeks before he was removed from the home. The boy then used a marker to show investigators how he was stabbed in his thigh, the affidavit states.
On Aug. 9, the three children living in Whitehead’s home were brought in for forensic interviews and none disclosed any incident other than one child receiving “whoopings” with a paddle and being grounded, the affidavit states.
All the children that were present were examined and did not appear to have any injuries at the time of the examination, the report states.
Ashalintubbi wrote that after the interviews were concluded, Whitehead and Miles were taken into custody and transported to the Pittsburg County Jail.
Court documents show Whitehead is scheduled for a preliminary hearing conference at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 30, with Miles scheduled to appear for his preliminary hearing conference at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 24.
If convicted, the individuals face punishment by imprisonment of not more than life, or by a fine not less than $500 nor more than $5,000, or both.
Contact Derrick James at firstname.lastname@example.org