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Woman charged with neglect, boyfriend charged in abuse of toddler

May 13, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A woman and her boyfriend were arraigned Thursday on charges of abusing and neglecting her 16-month old son, who was found with a fractured bone in his leg and a broken bone in his forearm, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Amber Renee Gunnoe, 22, was charged with one count of child neglect by parent and Evan Michael Meadows, 22, was charged with child abuse by guardian, according to court records.

The boy's injuries apparently occurred March 21 at Meadow's residence at 25 Buglers Way, Apt. 2, Falling Waters, W.Va., according to a complaint filed by West Virginia State Police Trooper F.H. Edwards.

Gunnoe's current residence is 6186 Martinsburg Pike, Shepherdstown, W.Va., according to bail agreement papers she signed Thursday during her arraignment.

The allegations were referred to state police April 26 by the state Department of Health and Human Resources child protective services, according to court records.

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Gunnoe told police in a statement May 4 that on March 21 she took her daughter shopping in Hagerstown and left her son at home with Meadows, according to court records.

Meadows, according to Gunnoe, called her later that day and told her that the boy had fallen earlier and was limping on his leg, according to court records.

When she returned home, Gunnoe said Meadows told her the boy had fallen while playing outside, according to court records.

Gunnoe said she gave the child Motrin and put ice on his leg and rocked him to sleep that evening, according to court records.

Noticing the child was still in pain the next day, Gunnoe took the boy to Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, W.Va., then to the McCormack Center on City Hospital's campus in Martinsburg on March 23, according to court records.

An X-ray of the child's leg was ordered by a physician March 23, but it wasn't done until March 30, according to court records.

After viewing the X-ray results, the attending physician determined April 1 that a full skeletal scan needed to be completed, according to court records. The scan wasn't done until the child's grandmother was notified April 20 by the Department of Health and Human Resources that the doctor's orders were not carried out, records show. The skeletal scan revealed that the child had a broken radius in his left forearm, which appeared to be three to four weeks old and had started to heal, according to court records.

When asked by police why the scan was not completed, Gunnoe told police that "drugs were her priority at the time" and that she was trying to cure herself of addiction, according to Edwards' complaint.

Gunnoe told police she never saw Meadows physically abuse the children, but indicated he grabbed them "in a harsh manner" on one occasion and had yelled at them in the past and had a temper problem, according to court records.

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