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Charges in child's death go forward

November 25, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A charge of second-degree murder and child-abuse related charges against Scott Eugene Patterson in connection with the beating death of his 3-year-old daughter, Madyson King, were forwarded to Washington County Circuit Court Wednesday during a preliminary hearing.

District Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. found probable cause to forward those charges to the higher court following testimony by Hagerstown Police Department Detective Shane Blankenship.

Patterson, 26, of 330 N. Mulberry St. in Hagerstown, had been 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.

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Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion requested that charges filed following an investigation into Madyson King's Oct. 26 admission to Washington County Hospital with visible bruising and separate charges filed following her Nov. 9 death at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., be merged for the hearing Wednesday.

Patterson's defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Carl Creeden, consented, and Long agreed. Cirincion said Patterson's combined charges would be "sorted out" at the Circuit Court level.

Madyson's mother and other family members were in the courtroom for the hearing. They shook their heads as Blankenship testified about visible bruising to Madyson's body and face and cried when he testified about Madyson's death.

Blankenship testified that Patterson hit Madyson several times on the evening of Oct. 25 after the 3-year-old knocked over a bucket of water. He hit her several times on the head, threw her on a bed, causing her head to hit a metal rail, and punched her in the stomach, causing her to pass out, he testified.

Blankenship testified that at one point during the beating, Madyson "fell face first onto hard plastic toys."

Patterson woke up the next day at about 1 p.m., noticed Madyson was unresponsive and tried to bathe her in cold water to wake her, Blankenship said. When the bath did not wake her, Patterson took her to Washington County Hospital, he testified.

The original story Patterson told police was that a dresser fell on his daughter on the night of the alleged abuse, he testified.

"During the initial interview it was pretty clear that what he was telling us was untrue," Blankenship said.

Creeden asked Blankenship whether any attempts were made to get Madyson's past medical records. Blankenship said that he has not tried to get them.

Creeden also asked about a Washington County Department of Social Services investigation involving Patterson, but that question was struck by Long after Cirincion questioned its relevance.

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