ATHENS, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE: 7/21/2017, 3:25 P.M.
A Nelsonville, Ohio couple were sentenced Friday in Athens County Court on felony child abuse and endangerment charges, from a 2014 case in which doctors found their baby had over 25 broken bones and a brain injury.
On May 17, 2017, an Athens County Jury found Kayla Fannon and Samuel Thompson each guilty of the following charges:
Count One, Endangering Children, a felony of the second degree
Count Two, Permitting Child Abuse, a felony of the third degree
Count Three, Endangering Children, a felony of the third degree
Failure to Appear as Required by Recognizance, felonies of the fourth degree.
Judge McCarthy sentenced Kayla Fannon to 11 years and 6 months in prison, and Samuel Thompson to 15 years and 6 months in prison.
Investigators say from November 12, 2013, through March 1, 2014, Fannon and Thompson caused serious physical harm to their baby girl, born November 12, 2013.
On March 1, 2014, Fannon took the infant to the local emergency room, where she was rushed to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Doctors at Nationwide found that the infant had more than 25 broken bones in her ribs, legs, fingers, arms, toes and shoulders, multiple skull fractures in various stages of healing, and a significant brain injury.
Police placed the baby in the custody of Athens County Children Services on December 9, 2014.
The baby was later adopted by a foster family, and officials say her health has improved significantly since then.
The State of Ohio requested the maximum sentence of 15 & 1/2 years each for Fannon and Thompson. Judge McCarthy sentenced Kayla Fannon to a total prison term of eleven (11) years and six (6) months and Samuel Thompson to a total prison term of fifteen (15) years and six (6) months.
The Endangering Children/Permitting Child Abuse cases were investigated by the Athens County Sheriff’s Office and Athens County Children Services.
UPDATE: 5/22/2017, 2:09 P.M.
The Athens County Prosecutor's Office says child-abuse suspects Kayla Fannon and Samuel Thompson were arrested Monday at the Budget Inn Motel in Lockbourne, in Franklin County, Ohio, after prosecutors received a tip on their whereabouts.
Nationwide warrants were issued for Fannon and Thompson’s arrest after they failed to appear on the fifth day of their jury trial for Endangering Children and Permitting Child Abuse on May 12, 2017.
The trial proceeded without them on May 16, 2017, and a jury issued guilty verdicts on Count One, Endangering Children, a felony of the second degree; Count Two, Permitting Child Abuse, a felony of the third degree; and Count Three, Endangering Children, a felony of the third degree.
Fannon and Thompson will be held in Franklin County for a Rule 4 hearing related to extradition back to Athens County. Upon returning to Athens County, Fannon and Thompson will have bond hearings and ultimately sentencing hearings will be held for the pair.
Athens County Prosecuting Attorney Keller Blackburn says the Columbus Division of Police S.W.A.T. team and all of the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office staff helped make the suspects' arrest possible.
ORIGINAL STORY: 5/17/2017, 3:46 P.M.
An Athens County judge has issued arrest warrants for two people found guilty of severely abusing their infant child, after they failed to appear in court on May 12 during their jury trial.
Kayla Ann Fannon, 26, and Samuel A. Thompson, 31, both of Nelsonville, Ohio, were on trial last week for felony child abuse and child endangerment charges, and had appeared in court during the first few days of the trial.
But the trail was postponed on May 12, when Fannon and Thompson both failed to appear, and their attorneys couldn’t contact them.
The trial continued on May 16th and 17th, when a jury found Fannon and Thompson each guilty of 2nd degree felony endangering children, 3rd degree felony permitting child abuse, and 3rd degree felony endangering children.
Athens County prosecutors say Fannon and Thompson physically abused their infant child between November 12, 2013 and March 1, 2014, when Fannon took the child to the ER at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
Hospital doctors found the infant had more than 25 broken bones to her skull, ribs, legs, fingers, arms, toes, and shoulders, in various stages of healing, as well as a significant brain injury.
On December 9, 2014, Athens County authorities placed the infant in permanent custody of the Athens County Children Services.
The infant was adopted by her foster parents and has shown significant progress over the last two and a half years.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Kayla Ann Fannon or Samuel A. Thompson is urged to contact the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office at 740-592-3208.