Attempted homicide charge to be filed in beating of child
A boy and a girl are being treated for injuries.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR PENNSYLVANIA BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A Lawrence County man will be charged with attempted homicide in the beating of his girlfriend's 3-year-old son, said Lawrence County District Attorney John Bongivengo.
He said Thursday that he decided to go forward with the charge after learning the extent of the child's injuries. Bongivengo said he expects that the charge will be filed today by Pennsylvania State Police.
Samuel Whisel was charged Wednesday with two counts each of aggravated assault, simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person for injuries to both children.
The boy was taken to Jameson Memorial Hospital and later Pittsburgh Children's Hospital on Wednesday after it was discovered the boy had two skull fractures, along with trauma to his liver, kidneys, pancreas, and bruising to his thigh, face and back, according to court documents.
Children and Youth Services caseworkers went to Whisel's house in Washington Township after his girlfriend brought her 18-month-old daughter to the hospital with two broken arms.
Whisel, 26, of Rear Kino Road, Volant, is in the Lawrence County Jail in lieu of 200,000 bond.
Bongivengo said he had no idea what precipitated the beatings.
According to court papers filed Wednesday, the 25-year-old mother of the children said her daughter was crying at 10 p.m. Sunday and Whisel went into the girl's room and yelled at her. The next day the mother saw the girl's arm was extremely swollen.
Whisel told the woman he was sorry, but would not allow her to take the girl for medical treatment until Tuesday, according to court papers.
Caseworkers went to Whisel's home Tuesday night at about 11:30 p.m. and noticed the 3-year-old boy had extensive injuries to his head and back. The full extent of the boy's injuries weren't discovered until Wednesday, according to police.
Police said Whisel denied involvement and contended the girl's injuries resulted from her falling off a six-foot stool and the boy fell while walking on porch steps.
A neighbor told police the 3-year-old was at her home until 5 p.m. Wednesday and he had no visible injuries before Whisel came to retrieve the child.
Bongivengo said he has not decided yet whether the mother will face any charges.