Hagerstown girl, 3, dies

Family has fond memories of Madyson King; father remains in jail

Family has fond memories of Madyson King; father remains in jail

November 10, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN - A 3-year-old girl whose father was charged with beating her died Tuesday morning at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Hagerstown Police Department Detective Shane Blankenship said.

Madyson King had been in a coma following the Oct. 25 beating at her Hagerstown home. Blankenship said that the child, who never came out of the coma, died as a result of her injuries.

Madyson's father, Scott Eugene Patterson, 26, of 330 N. Mulberry St. in Hagerstown, was charged with beating the child. He has been held at Washington County Detention Center since Oct. 30 on $250,000 bond.


A warrant charging Patterson in the beating was issued Oct. 28. He was charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in severe physical injury, child abuse by a custodian, first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, according to court documents.

Blankenship said an autopsy was to be performed today at the Washington, D.C., Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. He said police will decide whether to file additional charges against Patterson after they have autopsy results.

Madyson's grandfather, Charlie King, 42, said that the left side of Madyson's brain failed first, and that the right side of her brain subsequently failed, resulting in her death at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. He said there had been discussion about taking Madyson off life support, but it was decided not to do that.

King said Patterson had custody of Madyson for about the past five months. He said that his daughter, Jessica King, 20, was Madyson's mother. She was not available for comment Tuesday, he said.

Police were called Oct. 26 after Madyson was taken to Washington County Hospital. Doctors said she had suffered a severe head injury and they found "extensive bruising" on the girl's body, according to charging documents. Within hours, she was flown to Children's National Medical Center, the charging documents say.

Patterson initially told investigators that a small dresser fell on top of his daughter on the night of Oct. 25, but he soon changed his story, police said in charging documents.

Patterson said he had been smoking marijuana in his home at about 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 25, and became angry at his daughter when she knocked over a bucket of water he had been using to mop the floor, the documents state. Patterson yelled at his daughter and struck her with an open hand on the buttocks and head, knocking her once to the ground, according to allegations in the court papers.

Patterson then threw his daughter onto her bed, causing her head to strike the headboard and a metal bed rail, the documents allege. After he punched her in the stomach, she apparently passed out, the documents state.

According to the documents, Patterson went to sleep at around 2 a.m., and awoke around 1 p.m. on Oct. 26. Patterson bathed his daughter in cold water in an unsuccessful attempt to wake her, after which he took her to Washington County Hospital, documents state.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Viki Pauler said during Patterson's Nov. 1 bond review hearing that Patterson had a previous conviction, in 2000, for marijuana possession.

Court documents also indicate that Patterson was charged with assaulting his brother in 2003 and with assaulting his wife, Tanya Patterson, this year. In both cases, the charges were dropped.

Several other assault charges were listed under Patterson's criminal record, which dates to 1996, but the outcomes of those cases could not be obtained because of their age, a District Court clerk said.

Chris King, 18, Madyson's uncle, said that Madyson's favorite snacks were gummy fish and Bug Juice. He said that she loved to watch "Dora the Explorer," "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "Blue's Clues." He said that her favorite movie was "The Lion King."

"We watched that movie about 10 times a day," he said.

Chris King said that Madyson has a 15-month-old sister who is not Patterson's child.

Charlie King and Chris King agreed that one of their favorite memories of Madyson involved a bike.

Madyson rode a "little bike" up and down the hallway at Charlie King's house, he said.

Chris King added fondly that he loved "that stubborn little look on her face when she didn't get her way."

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