Hagerstown man charged in death of his daughter

November 13, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

A Hagerstown man has been charged with second-degree murder and other charges in connection with the Oct. 25 beating of his 3-year-old daughter, Madyson King, who died Tuesday as a result of her injuries.

Scott Eugene Patterson, 26, of 330 N. Mulberry St. in Hagerstown, was charged Friday with second-degree murder, manslaughter and first-degree child abuse resulting in death, Hagerstown Police Department Detective Shane Blankenship said.

Washington County District Court Commissioner Timothy Haven advised Patterson Friday evening during an appearance that he also was charged with child abuse by parent resulting in death and child abuse death.


Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said that the maximum penalty for second-degree murder is 30 years. The maximum penalty for child abuse resulting in death is 30 years, and the maximum penalty for manslaughter is 10 years.

Haven said that both child abuse death and child abuse by parent resulting in death carry maximum 30-year sentences.

Patterson has been held at Washington County Detention Center since Oct. 30 on charges of child abuse and assault. Haven raised his bond Friday from $250,000 to $750,000.

Patterson, wearing an orange jumpsuit, was handcuffed during the appearance. A solemn look on his face, he occasionally looked down as Haven was typing.

Blankenship said that the Washington, D.C., Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Madyson's death a homicide. According to the autopsy, Madyson, who died Tuesday at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., died of blunt force trauma with subdural hemorrhage, he said.

"The injury to her brain was so substantial that the brain bled and the bleeding could not be controlled," he said.

Washington County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Ed Long said that Patterson was placed in isolation on Nov. 1 at the detention center. He said that officers feared for his safety and separated him from the other inmates.

Blankenship said that detectives now will begin case preparation for trial.

"My thoughts are with the family," he said.

Efforts to reach the child's family members were unsuccessful Friday night after the new charges were filed.

On Oct. 26, about 20 hours after Patterson allegedly beat Madyson for knocking over a bucket of water, Patterson bathed the toddler for 30 minutes in cold water in an unsuccessful attempt to wake her from an unresponsive state and took her to Washington County Hospital, according to charging documents.

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 said.

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.

He said he had been smoking marijuana in his home about 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 25, and was "enraged" 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 on the top and back of her head, knocking her once to the ground, where she landed on several hard toys, 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 around 2 a.m. and awoke around 1 p.m. on Oct. 26, at which time he tried to wake Madyson with the cold bath.

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.

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