Bizarre: Man bites stepchild to punish

US: A 27-year-old Davenport man has been accused of biting his 4-year-old stepchild in order to punish the child.

The Quad-City Times says James Darby was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony child endangerment.

An arrest affidavit says Darby told the child's mother that he bit the child in order to get the child to stop biting.

Davenport Police Detective Mark Dinneweth said in the affidavit that photos showed at least two of the child's injuries looked like bite marks.

Scott County Jail records say Darby remained in custody on Wednesday, pending $5,000 bail. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney. (AP)

11-year-old girl charged for infant's death

MAINE: The youngest person to be charged with homicide in Maine in at least 30 years — and possibly ever — twiddled her fingers, bit her nails and looked down on Monday during her first court appearance.

Afterward, her attorney said the manslaughter charge was "too harsh" for someone so young.

The girl was charged over the summer at age 10 with juvenile manslaughter in the death of 3-month-old Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway, who was staying overnight in the girl's home in Fairfield in the care of the girl's mother.

The girl, now 11, entered a juvenile plea called "no answer," which is neither a denial nor admission of the charges.

The girl's mother called police early on July 8 to report that the infant was not breathing, authorities said. The infant, who was reportedly fussy, was sleeping in a portable crib in the 10-year-old's bedroom that night, said the infant's mother, Nicole "Nicki" Greenaway of Clinton.

The state hasn't released the cause of death, but Greenaway was told that her daughter ingested medication and was suffocated.

Outside the courthouse, defense lawyer John Martin said manslaughter was an "extremely severe" charge for someone who's so young. "When I say too harsh, I mean she's just 11," Martin said. "It's harsh.
There's no other word for it."

But Greenaway said the mother should be held accountable, as well, since she left her daughter in the bedroom, leaving her infant without adult supervision.

"I feel that she does need to be charged. To me right now it makes me feel like she's allowing (her daughter) to take full responsibility,"
Greenaway said.

Greenaway left the court hearing angry and frustrated, saying she felt that the girl and her mother were smirking. The girl's mother left without talking to reporters.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson declined to comment on whether there could be additional charges.

The girl, who had her hair pulled back and wore glasses, sat quietly with her eyes down for most of the brief hearing. When the judge asked if she understood what was required of her, including cooperating on a competency examination, she simply nodded.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, which removed the young suspect from the home, faulted the baby sitter for leaving the infant in the room with the girl. In a letter, an agency case worker said the 10-year-old had a behavior disorder that made her unsuitable for caring for the infant.

The Associated Press generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes.

If convicted as a juvenile, the maximum penalty is incarceration until age 21. For an adult, manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, but the state opted not to try the girl in an adult courtroom.

To protect the girl's privacy, Maine District Court Chief Judge Charles LaVerdiere issued a special order warning that no recording device of any type was allowed in the courtroom Monday. Afterward, an umbrella was used to shield her from photographers as she left the courthouse.

During the hearing, LaVerdiere ordered a competency evaluation that'll help establish the path for the case. "Procedurally that's going to kind of guide the way this case goes," Martin said afterward. "That first determination is something that's going to be important in this case." (AP)

Mom abandons kids on side of interstate

IDAHO: A woman sought after her two young sons were found alone along Interstate 90 in Idaho was arrested Tuesday night in the nearby Spokane area after an anonymous tip.

The telephone tip led Spokane County sheriff's deputies to a house where they found 27-year-old Shannon Marie Germanton of Washington state, Deputy Craig Chamberlin said. She was arrested on a local negligent driving warrant and booked into the Spokane County Jail.

The boys, ages 6 and 3, were placed in foster care after they were found earlier in the day along I-90 in Post Falls, near the Idaho-Washington border. The boys told deputies their mother ran out of gas and went for help while it was dark and raining.

Idaho authorities plan to pursue an arrest warrant for child abandonment and child neglect, said Sgt. Matt Street of the Kootenai County sheriff's office. Kootenai County sheriff's detectives planned to take their case to a local magistrate in Coeur d'Alene on Wednesday and seek an arrest warrant that would allow Spokane County to hold Germanton pending extradition to Idaho.

As law enforcement officers in northern Idaho and eastern Washington searched for the woman, Post Falls police called her cell phone and spoke to her several times, Street said. She was evasive about her whereabouts and kept hanging up, Street said.

"There was no real concern about where the children were," he said.

Initially officers didn't know whether they were dealing with possible illness, foul play or abandonment, Street said. Exactly what happened "is yet to be determined until our detectives can get an interview with her," he said.

Street said he didn't know whether the woman was represented by a lawyer.

A construction supervisor found the boys sitting in the grass near a freeway construction site at 9:10 a.m. Tuesday, Kootenai County officials said earlier.

Investigators learned that Germanton was given a ride to a gas station between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. She told the driver she had argued with her boyfriend and needed to get to a phone to call for a ride.

No car was found near the boys and no one was at home at her last known address, Kootenai County sheriff's spokesman Ben Wolfinger said.

"We don't know if she has a boyfriend," Wolfinger said. Germanton is divorced, he said. (AP)

Man burgles home with 3-year-old son in car

HOUSTON: Houston police say a man suspected in more than a dozen burglaries had his 3-year-old son along in the car while breaking into a home.

Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of Bernard Cardenas of Pasadena.

Cardenas was being held without bond on five counts of burglary of a habitation and being a felon in possession of a gun. Investigators say Cardenas was arrested Oct. 18 after patrol officers saw him kick in the front door of a house.

Police say the suspect's son was unharmed. Further details weren't immediately released Wednesday on custody of the child.

Investigators believe Cardenas carried out the burglaries since July 2011. A gun recovered when he was arrested was reported stolen days earlier.

Online jail records did not list an attorney for Cardenas. (AP)

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