A man and woman arrested for child abuse and multiple drug charges in Wilmington

A man and woman in Wilmington, NC have been arrested on a series of felony drug charges and misdemeanor child abuse after a month long investigation.

(WILMINGTON, NC –) Wilmington Police Department issued a news release that a man and woman are behind bars this afternoon, following a month long investigation.

These arrests are a result of an executed search warrant by the WPD Special Investigations Division at the 700 block of S. 8th Street.

The investigation began in response to a multiple citizen complaints and Text-a-Tips about drug activity in the area. From the execution of the search warrant, police seized 45 grams of crack cocaine (1.5oz), 10 grams of marijuana and approximately 1 gram of methamphetamine. Police also discovered an infant in the home at the time of the search.

The following individuals were arrested as a result of the investigation:

33-year-old, Peter Ramon Galloway:

Photo Courtesy of WPD
  • Trafficking Cocaine (2 Counts)
  • Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine
  • Sell/Deliver Cocaine (2 Counts)
  • PWISD Cocaine (3 Counts)
  • PWISD Controlled Substance Within 1000 Feet of a Park (3 Counts)
  • Maintaining a Dwelling for the Sale of Controlled Substance
  • Possession of Methamphetamine
  • Misdemeanor Child Abuse
  • Possession of Marijuana

Galloway has a long history of felony and misdemeanor convictions prior in the North Carolina Department of Public Safety database dating back to 2002. Prior convictions listed or drug related (possessions), gambling, driving while license revoked, second-degree trespass, possession with intent to sell, speeding to elude arrest, DWI (level III) and the most recent listed is a post release revocation in 2017.

Galloway was incarcerated In North Carolina Department of Public corrections in Craven County Correctional Institution for a 2014 felony conviction, where he served 5-years and 6-months and was released in July of 2018.

31-year-old, Victoria Ashley Morris:

Photo Courtesy of WPD
  • Trafficking Cocaine (2 Counts)
  • Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine
  • PWISD Cocaine
  • PWISD Controlled Substance Within 1000 Feet of a Park
  • Maintaining a Dwelling for the Sale of Controlled Substance
  • Possession of Methamphetamine
  • Misdemeanor Child Abuse
  • Possession of Marijuana

Victoria Ashlee Morris has a prior criminal record in the North Carolina Department of Public Safety database for a felony and misdemeanor charge in 2016 for possession of a schedule II controlled substance and carrying a concealed weapon. She was given a 24 month term of probation and a suspended sentence for those past crimes.

Galloway was given a $3 million secured bond and Morris a $1.5 million secured bond.

Woman charged with a felony abuse of an infant at a Sneads Ferry childcare center

Bethan Pringle, age 23 charged with Felony Child Abuse Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury to an infant child under age 1 at a Sneads Ferry Childcare facility.

There are several daycares in Sneads Ferry with violations reported to the NC DHHS/DCDEE database this year.

(SNEADS FERRY, NC)-

Photo from Childcare Network Website

On June 11, 2019 the Childcare Network parents in Sneads Ferry received a notice informing them of an incident that occurred in their school the day prior where an infant child was injured while in the care of the facility.

The infant child who is under 1-year-old was provided with CPR by caregivers as well as lifesaving techniques for emergency situations. The child’s parents were notified immediately by the center and the teacher involved was suspended without pay at that time, pending an internal investigation as well as by law enforcement.

The incident allegedly was quickly determined not to have been caused by a hazard, lack of security, supervision nor due to inappropriate ratios of caregivers to student at the time of the incident. Some parents were also allegedly informed soon after that the teacher would not be returning to the school based on this incident.

The Onslow Beat reached out to the Childcare Network location on Thursday, June 13th for a statement and they declined to do so with a pending and open investigation.

Col. Chris Thomas at Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said on Monday there was anticipation of closing the case this week. He further assured, “To my knowledge this is the only incident that has been reported to the Sheriff’s Office from that location.” “They have been completely cooperative with the investigation and were the reporting party as well.”

The infant child was transported to Vidant Medical in Greenville from Onslow Memorial Hospital for treatment immediately following and released Thursday of last week. Medical professionals have since advised that the infant is expected to recover.

Today, Onslow County Sheriff’s Office issued a release stating it had been determined that this act was purposeful. The childcare worker, Bethan Pringle, age 23 was the worker who was responsible for the child’s injuries. The infant suffered from head trauma which resulted when the child was intentionally dropped by the suspect.

Pringle was arrested and charged with Felony Child Abuse Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury. She was issued a $100,000 secured bond and placed in the custody of the Onslow County Detention Center.

Childcare Network is a 5-star facility with a superior classification, as well as the newest facility in the area. This facility opened in August 20, 2018 and has swiftly corrected any violations prior to date as required by the Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) . The most recent inspection from DHHS/DCDEE shows where the facility was rated a 211/235 score and there were no violations despite this tragedy.

There have been two violations during an unannounced visit by the DCDEE to this facility that occurred in 2018 and both swiftly corrected.

Rule Violated: Medications including prescription and non-prescription items were not stored in a locked cabinet or other locked container. Medications in space #9 and space #10 were stored in the cabinet under the diaper changing table; the cabinets were unlocked.

Rule Violated: Caregivers did not document compliance with visually checking on sleeping infants aged 12 months or younger and/or the documents were not maintained for a minimum of one month. In space #9. a visual sleep check was documented at 9:45am. During the classroom observation at 10:30am, the infant was still asleep and no other visual sleep checks had been documented. (12/10/18)-DHHS database

There are limited childcare options in the quaint fishing village of Sneads Ferry.

Another local facility has parents skeptical in the quality of facility standards since a change in ownership leaving some parents feeling grim about care options.

One mother said, “This is why I would rather just stay at home until our baby is older, so I know that he is safe.” in response to this incident. “You cannot trust anywhere anymore.”

The Onslow Beat took a deeper look into local daycare options to see how they compare to Childcare Network in light of standard of care and violations in Sneads Ferry.

Noah’s Ark Preschool: Four (4) violations in March 2019 for broken furniture, poor activity plan and lacking first aid training. Another two (2) in May for administering medication after the expiration date with expired permission form.

Sneads Ferry Quality Care has six violations documented by DHHS/DCDEE just this month from an unannounced visit. Violations range across a variety of lack in training for childcare workers, not having CPR & First Aid certifications and Child Maltreatment Training. Some of these violations are still pending response to the department. One violation:

Rule Violated: New staff, who had contact with children, did not receive at least 16 hrs. orientation within first 6 weeks. Three of the thirty-two staff employed had not completed the required orientation training within the first 6 weeks of employment. -DHHS database.

A Happy Home Daycare in Sneads Ferry that is a licensed home daycare had violations in 2017 for hazardous chemicals like cleaners and pesticides. There were no violations in 2018 on either visit yet there have been violations founded in 2019.

Rule Violated: Hazardous cleaning supplies and other items that might be poisonous were not kept out of reach or in locked storage when children were in care. Three bottles of hand sanitizer were located in the home: One was sitting in the middle of the kitchen table used by the children for lunch routines, a second bottle was located on the cabinet beside the diaper changing table accessible to the children, and a third bottle was located on the corner of the desk adjacent to the children care space accessible to the children. Four aerosol cans were located in the home: One can of Lysol and one can of Resolve were located on a shelf above the diaper changing table and one can of Lysol and one can of Ozium Air Sanitizer was located on a shelf behind the entrance/exit door to the child care space.- DHHS database. (2017) 

Rule Violated: Written record of up-to-date pet vaccinations as required by NC law and local ordinances, including rabies vaccination for dogs and cats, was not available. The vaccination for Cornflake, the cat, expired 12/30/18.

Violation confirmed corrected by letter received from provider on 1/18/2019
Rule Violated: Activity plans did not include activities intended to stimulate the developmental domains, in accordance with NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. An activity plan was not available.

Violation confirmed corrected by letter received from provider on 1/18/2019
Rule Violated: Operator did not provide a written statement to parents regarding the smoking and tobacco restriction. A signed and dated acknowledgement statement from each parents indicating they had received a copy of the smoking and tobacco restriction.

Violation confirmed corrected by letter received from provider on 1/18/2019
 
To view any additonal childcare facility’s performance and possible violations, visit the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education through NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website.

The Onslow Beat urges parents to do research on every facility in any location before enrolling as well as facilities to ensure training and references prior to hiring.

Two charged with felony child abuse of an infant child in Scotland County this week.

(SCOTLAND CO.,NC)-

Thursday, Scotland County Sheriff’s Office reported an arrest two adults on felony abuse and negligence of a 16-month-old boy.

Kristy Beth Backus, age 23 and Zachary Crabtree, age 24, both residents of 21000 McIntosh Road, Laurinburg, NC were arrested for charges related to a child abuse report received from Scotland Memorial Hospital on May 26, 2019.

Backus. Photo Courtesy of Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

Backus was charged with:

(2) counts of Felony Child Abuse, Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury and (1) count of Felony Child Abuse by Negligence, resulting in Serious Bodily Injury.

Crabtree. Photo Courtesy of Scotland County Sheriff’s Office

Crabtree was charged with:

(1) count of Felony Child Abuse by Negligence, resulting in Serious Bodily Injury.

This stems from an unconscious/unresponsive infant child, who was brought in to the Scotland Memorial Hospital. During this hospital visit, the medical staff reported the child allegedly had severe injuries to the head, and other internal medical factors consistent with the symptoms of Shaking Baby Syndrome (SBS). The child was air lifted to a special children’s hospital where he received continued intensive care.

The infant child was confirmed to allegedly have ongoing serious bodily injuries, which were reported as being multiple internal injuries to the brain, in conjunction with other injuries to the infant’s body both internal and external. The infant was reportedly 16-weeks-old at the time he was seen during the reported visit for treatment at Scotland Memorial Hospital.

“During the investigation conducted by the Sheriff’s Office, along with the criminal investigative unit it was determined that Backus was allegedly the approximate cause of the ongoing abuse. Crabtree was arrested reportedly for alleged negligence.” Scotland County Sheriff’s Office said in a public statement on their agency’s investigations unit Facebook page.

Backus received a secured, $500,000 bond, and Crabtree received a secured, $250,000 bond. Backus and Crabtree are both scheduled to be in court, Monday, June 10, 2019.

Neither Backus or Crabtree have any prior criminal history listed in the NCDPS system.

Hubert man sentenced to 50-70 years for rape of his girlfriends 11-year-old daughter

On Friday, May 31, 2019, Eddie David Lewis Jr. was found guilty of two counts of Statutory Rape of a Child by an Adult and one count of Indecent Liberties with a Child. The Honorable Judge Phyllis M. Gorham sentenced the defendant to two consecutive active sentences of a minimum of 300 months and a maximum of 420 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction. This is a minimum of 50 years and a maximum of 70 years.  

Upon his release from incarceration, he will be required to register as a sex offender and enroll in satellite-based monitoring for the remainder of his natural life.

On July 28, 2017, the victim disclosed that she was being sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend and that it had been going on for approximately one year. The victim was 11 years old at the time, and the defendant was 22 years old. While the victim’s mother worked three jobs (including one overnight shift) to support the family, the defendant supervised the children within the home. Following the victim’s disclosure, her mother confronted the defendant via text message and in a controlled call at the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, where he admitted engaging in vaginal intercourse with the victim. The call was recorded and played for the jury. The victim received a medical evaluation at the Onslow County Child Advocacy Center, and she was found to have a sexually-transmitted infection. The State presented photographs, phone records, medical records, and recorded interviews in addition to the testimony offered during the trial, including that of the victim. The defendant did not present any evidence.

The jury returned verdicts as to each charge after approximately 29 minutes of deliberation. Detective Charles Parrish from the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office was the lead investigator on the case. The defendant was represented by Attorney Stuart Popkin. The State was represented by Assistant District Attorney Kaelyn Avery.  This office appreciates the thorough investigation by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and for the assistance of the Onslow Child Advocacy Center.  This defendant received a minimum of 50 years in prison which sends a strong message to those who sexually abuse and assault children.    

Sex offender arrested in MD for 54 counts of sexual related offenses against a minor child in Scotland Co. NC

(SCOTLAND CO.,NC)- On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office, Criminal Investigative Division, obtained criminal arrest warrants against, Cornelius Godfrey Brennecke, 44, of Baltimore, Maryland, in reference to (27) counts of felony First Degree Sexual Offense Against a Minor Child and (27) counts of felony Sexual Activity by a Substitute Parent.

Brennecke was a resident of Scotland County from 2010 through 2012. Brennecke resided in the area of Corbit Road and Andrew Jackson Highway, of Laurel Hill, NC and Laurinburg, NC. Brennecke was a registered sex offender when he moved to Scotland County, and was required to register with the sheriff’s office in which he did report. Brennecke allegedly resided with a family in Scotland County which included an adult female whom he was allegedly romantically involved with. Brennecke allegedly sexually assaulted the child residing in this home, on more than one occasion, a minor child who was alleged to be six years old at the time the offenses started.

Brennecke was previously charged in Scotland County for violations of his sexual offender registry requirements, and later, relocated back to the state of Maryland. Brennecke was recently arrested in the state of Maryland for sexual acts against a child which, the Maryland State Police reported additional incidents for the county of Scotland, that were discovered during the minor child’s interviews that were conducted in Maryland.

Brennecke is currently an inmate in the state of Maryland at a local detention facility, awaiting judicial proceedings in his many counts of felony crimes involving sexual acts with a child. Maryland State Police agreed to work with the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office, and attempt to assist the sheriff’s office in the extradition process legally.

Brennecke awaits extradition to the State of North Carolina, where he will be brought before a magistrate in the county of Scotland.

Sneads Ferry couple sentenced to 31 to 47 years for rape of a child and exploitation

On March 4, 2019 in Onslow Superior Court, Matthew Maynard and Diane McCracken Maynard each pled guilty to one count of rape of a child and one count of 1st degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Judge Phyllis Gorham of New Hanover County sentenced each of these co-defendants to consecutive sentences of a minimum of 300 months (25Y) and a maximum of 420 months (35Y) and a minimum of 73 months (6Y) and a maximum of 148 months  (12Y) active sentences in the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction. These sentences total a minimum of  31 years and maximum of 47 years each.

 

 

The evidence showed that on Jan. 27, 2018, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office was contacted regarding a pornographic video that had been found saved on a common drive for internet storage through the Google web service. The video, approximately 8 minutes in length, was filmed using a cellular telephone camera and depicted the co-defendants engaging in sexual acts, including both vaginal and oral intercourse, with two children under the age of 13-years-old. Original reports stated that the child victims were “known to” the couple.

Matthew Maynard was represented by Attorney Timothy Oswalt, and Diane McCracken Maynard was represented by Attorney Stuart Popkin. The State was represented by Assistant District Attorney Kaelyn Avery.

DA Ernie Lee stated in a press release,

“This office appreciates the thorough investigation of the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office. These are the type of offenses that shock the conscience and this office places a substantial amount of resources in prosecuting these crimes. ADA Kaelyn Avery did a very good job in preparing the case.”

Both parties, Matthew and Diane, each age 34 and residents of Old Folkstone Road, Sneads Ferry, NC were both arrested originally in Jan. 2018 and charged individually with:

  • (2) Counts First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor- Felony
  • (2) Counts Statutory Rape of a Child by an Adult- Felony

To read more the original story reported by The Onslow Beat click here.

 

UPDATE: Death of 1-year-old Torrance Adams ruled a homicide per autopsy report

WakeMed suspected the boyfriend of the mother of Torrance Adams for abuse at the hospital. The suspect, Buchanan reached out to the mother from jail to “apologize”….

Monday, July 1, 2019 the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Examiners Office released the autopsy report concluding the death of 1-year-old Torrance Adams ruled as a homicide.

The cause of death to the 22-month old infant has been determined “blunt force trauma of head” per the autopsy report that was released on Monday.  The forensic diagnosis listed a number of contributing injuries in this horrific incident as factors leading to the death of the infant.

  • Blunt force injury of head
  • Left periorbital abrasion and contusion (Black eye)
  • Deep scalp and cranial periosteal hemorrhage
  • Occipital bone linear skull fracture
  • Bilateral subdural hemorrhage
  • Diffuse cerebral edema
  • Bilateral retinal and optic nerve hemorrhages
  • Abraded contusion of back
  • Acute pneumonia

The report states there to have been no natural disease or congenital abnormality causative of or contributory to death of the infant child.

The 22-month-old male infant child showed an unremarkable birth history according to his medical record without any significant medical history relevant to previous injury. He was in a general and positive state of health until Valentine’s Day of 2019 when he sustained the head trauma that is now determined his cause of death. The infant was taken to WakeMed Hospital where it was there that imaging determined occipital skull fracture and bilateral subdural hemorrhages.

 He was transferred to the intensive care unit where his clinical status continued to decline, and he was pronounced dead on Saturday, February 16, 2019 with his family at his side.

According to Law Enforcement, Torrance was in the care of a family friend who has since been identified as the infant child’s mother’s now ex-boyfriend, Michael Buchannan. It was initially reported that Torrance was observed to have stopped breathing after choking on a waffle, after which Emergency Medical Services were summoned. Upon extensive additional investigative interviews, a possible slip in the sink while being washed several hours before the choking incident was offered as an explanation for the child’s injuries. The child reportedly did not cry and had no symptoms or loss of consciousness. 

The autopsy documented a small-for-age male toddler with no congenital abnormality or natural disease causative of or contributory to death. Blunt force head injuries included periorbital ecchymoses and abrasions/contusions of the face. 

He had an occipital bone fracture that extended into the posterior fossa of the skull base. Both are in the rear of the skull. He also had deep scalp and periosteal skull hemorrhage at two separate locations. The brain was diffusely edematous. Microscopic examination of the eyes showed bilateral retinal and optic nerve hemorrhages. Toxicological testing detected ketamine which is a substance consistent with administration during an attempted resuscitation supporting earlier reports that the infant required life saving measures. 

Based on investigative findings, the autopsy, toxicological report, and circumstances surrounding the death, as currently understood, it is our opinion that the cause of death is blunt force injury of the head.” said the Chief Medical Examiner in the autopsy report. 

The conflicting reports of traumatic incidents do not satisfactorily explain or correlate with the reported timeline of symptoms and autopsy findings. Accordingly, the manner of death has been classified as a homicide.

There is no upcoming court date listed at this time for Buchanan in the NC Courts database. The Onslow Beat reached out to the Wake Co. District Attorney’s Office for an update on possible calendar date of when the trial will begin and could not receive a response by deadline.

#JusticeForYaya is a hashtag that can help easily access updates on this case over social media outlets. 


PREVIOUS: EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: 9-11 Call for 1-year-old Torrance Adams Wake-Med reports suspected abuse by moms boyfriend

(Wake Co., NC)-On  (Valentine’s Day) Feb. 14, Raleigh Police Department officers responded to WakeMed due to a suspected child abuse incident. Torrance Adams, a 1-year-old male-child, had stopped breathing earlier in the day and was transported to the hospital.

The child’s mother said she received a call to rush home from work with reports of her son choking and not breathing. The paramedics resuscitated baby Torrance and it seemed that he was stable at that time until soon after arriving at WakeMed. After arriving at WakeMed, the child’s heart rate began to drop at an alarming rate without explanation, he had been stabilized again and rushed in for a CT scan. From the CT scan report, it was discovered that the child had sustained a skull fracture while in the care of Michael Buchanan. Follow-up investigation led detectives to secure a warrant charging Buchanan, age 24 with intentional child abuse inflicting bodily injury and at that time was being held on a $150,000 bond that was increased to $2M.

Michael Buchanan

THE 9-11 Call from WakeMed:

The 911 call concerning the incident has been uploaded below with full, original audio as released by authorities. As required by § 132-1.4 and/or §143-518, information has been redacted from the attached call and the audio has been altered to disguise the caller’s natural voice per NC 9-11 recording laws.

The extent of the physical damages to 1-year-old Torrance Adams skull was deemed purposeful and no way to have been accidental. The family remained optimistic during that dark time since the child responded to touch, was moving and breathing on his own. Friday, Torrance suffered a seizure and was taken off of sedation medication, he became non-responsive, wasn’t breathing independently and was placed on life support. A second CT scan was ordered and completed to find there was a tremendous amount of swelling taking place on his brain and the family was then informed by the respiratory therapist that it didn’t look like Torrance would make it through.

Adams died from his injuries on Sat. Feb.16, 2019. RPD homicide detectives conferred with the District Attorney’s office and charges have been upgraded to murder with NO BOND in connection with Adams’ death.

Adams mother, Quise McCall reported to The Onslow Beat that Buchanan called her from jail “at least 10 times”. McCall stated,  “I answered and hung up the first time, he apologized and asked how he was, then asked me to help him find a bondsman. I just hung up and didn’t answer again.”

 

Like most families, no parents expect to have to bury an infant child or child at all with hopes that the children will out live them. Being such an unforseen, sudden tragedy, the family is seeking donations to help with the cost of burial. They are close to the goal, if you see fit to donate, an online fundraiser is still available: GoFundMe YaYa Strong .

 

 

 

Jacksonville woman charged after accused assault on six year old stepdaughter

Jacksonville, NC woman charged with numerous felonious child abuse and drug charges after strangulation of her minor six-year-old stepdaughter caused serious physical injury.

Onslow Co. Sheriff’s Department has charged a woman based on accusations of strangulation of her minor step-daughter who is only six-years-old. The child has suffered substantial physical injury from the incident of assault, leaving her to spend nine days in the hospital from Nov. 27th until Dec. 5th.img_5493

During the search of the woman post-arrest, deputies found illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.

This Jacksonville woman has been arrested for felony child abuse as well as a number of drug-related charges. Booth appears to be the spouse of a Marine stationed locally. Booth also has several mentions of protecting women’s rights and has vocalized a stance against domestic violence on social media yet we find it fair to believe a contrary reality with the given investigation and charges brought from that.

On November 27, 2018, detectives with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims’ Unit received a report of suspected child abuse of a 6-year-old. The child appeared to have significant injuries on the body requiring medical treatment.

On December 5, 2018, Shoshannah Scarlett-Booth was arrested after the investigation revealed she was the perpetrator. Scarlett-Booth, 38-years-old of Sky Blue Lane in Jacksonville was taken before a magistrate and charged with:

  • Felony Intentional Child Abuse Inflicting Serious Injury
  • Felony Assault by Strangulation

Upon search of Scarlett-Booth during the booking process, several illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia were located. She was given additional charges of:

  • Felony Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule IV Controlled Substance
  • (3) Counts Trafficking Opium and/or Heroin-Felony
  • (2) Counts Possession with Intent to Manufacture/Sell/Deliver Schedule II Controlled Substance-Felony
  • Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Scarlett-Booth is currently detained in the Onslow County Detention Center under a $132,000 secured bond.

DSS (Department of Social Services) is involved to ensure safety and custody placement of the child based on her needs.

Anyone with information about this incident may contact Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at 910-455-3113, Detective Lawrence at 910-989-4066, daryl_lawrence@onslowcountync.gov, or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273. Please refer to case 2018019211 when calling.

Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $2,500 for information that is deemed of value or assistance to law enforcement. Information can also be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and never have to reveal their identity.

 

 

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