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Wife's cousin to care for accused man's daughters

November 19, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Temporary custody of Scott Eugene Patterson's two daughters, who were voluntarily placed with their maternal grandparents after another of Patterson's daughters was admitted to the hospital with injuries from a beating, was given to his wife's cousin Thursday during a hearing in Washington County Circuit Court.

Patterson, 26, of 330 N. Mulberry St. in Hagerstown, was charged in the death of his daughter, 3-year-old Madyson King. He was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, first-degree child abuse resulting in death, child abuse resulting in a death and child abuse by a parent resulting in a death, records state.

Madyson was taken to the hospital on Oct. 26, about 20 hours after she was beaten for knocking over a bucket of water, the Hagerstown Police Department alleged in charging documents.

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She died at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 9.

Scott Patterson had custody of Madyson for about five months before she was injured, Charlie King, Madyson's grandfather, has said.

In a Thursday morning hearing related to the custody matter, Patterson said he did not think the two girls needed special assistance from the Department of Social Services.

He said his wife, Tanya, "is a good mother. I can't see her being punished for my mistake."

Before the Thursday afternoon hearing, Elisha Elliott, an attorney representing Tanya Patterson, said Tanya Patterson placed her biological daughters, ages 3 and 6, with their maternal grandparents after the Department of Social Services learned of Madyson's hospitalization.

Timothy Gordon, an attorney representing Social Services, said that the grandparents should not have custody of the girls. He said that they permitted unsupervised visits between Tanya Patterson and the girls and live in an apartment that is too small.

The grandmother, Margaret Hull, testified that she did not allow such visits. She said that a front room in the apartment had been made into a bedroom for the girls.

Tanya Patterson's cousin, Beth Frazer, testified that she lives in a three-bedroom house in Hancock with a Washington County Sheriff's Department deputy.

Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III ordered that the girls be placed with Frazer.

"I think these children need to be in a bigger home," he said.

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