Angelina grand jury indicts 8 in child-related crimes

Amanda Braley mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Amanda Braley mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Jerome Gardner mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Jerome Gardner mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Jeremei Grimes mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Jeremei Grimes mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Lasha Jones mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Lasha Jones mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Gary Ivy mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Gary Ivy mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - (KTRE) - An Angelina County grand jury on Tuesday indicted eight people in relation to crimes involving children.

Micah King, 31, of Lufkin, and Amanda Braley, 23, of Lufkin, were arrested by Lufkin Police in November in connection to a four-year-old girl's injuries.

The arrests came after a 10-month long investigation into the incident. According to a previous report, Braley brought her daughter to a Lufkin hospital. Medical staff had to work to revive her after Braley told them the girl was suffering from the flu and falling down in the bathtub.

After being stabilized, the 4-year-old was flown to Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston.  According to the arrest report, Lufkin Police received hospital records indicating she had "suffered life threatening medical neglect and significant physical abuse".

Braley told hospital workers that the 4-year-old was being watched by King while she was at work.  During a police interview with King, investigators say he admitted to slapping her on one occasion and knocking her into some chairs.

King is charged with injury to a child and Braley is charged with injury to a child and endangering a child.

Lufkin Police arrested Jerome Gardner, 37, listed as homeless, on a charge of indecency with a child.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Gardner approached the victim at his apartment complex on Nov. 5 and told her to come back to his room. When she went there, they engaged in different acts of sexual intercourse, according to the affidavit.

The victim told her mother about what happened and the mother brought her to the Lufkin Police Department to report the crime.

A witness was later located who said they witnessed the act, according to the affidavit.

Lufkin Police arrested Jeremei T. Grimes, 25, of Lufkin, Belinda Teel, 44, of Lufkin, and Lachyah T. Teel, 23, of Lufkin, in January in connection to injuries to a 15-month-old boy.

A three-page arrest affidavit alleges several missteps Belinda Teel and Lachyah Teel, the child's mother and grandmother, made when they discovered the injuries and how Grimes lied about the injuries and about how he took the child for medical treatment.

According to the affidavit, the women allowed Grimes to take care of the child for a few hours on Jan. 6, even though they knew he is a registered sex offender. A few hours later, Grimes called the grandmother and told her the child was injured when he fell off a horse.

When the women saw the child again, they noticed injuries to the child's face and bruising from his neck to his pelvis.

The injuries became worse until Jan. 9, when Grimes told the women he would take the child to see his aunt, who is a nurse. Grimes returned with the child and told the women his aunt said the child was fine and just needed Tylenol. The child had more injuries to his hands, which he did not have before Grimes had him the second time, according to the affidavit.

The grandmother then decided to take the child to the hospital, where he was admitted overnight. Doctors called Lufkin Police to the hospital who interviewed the suspects.

According to the affidavit, Grimes admitted to lying about the child falling off a horse and about taking him to his aunt, but would not admit to how the child was injured. He even walked out of the interview after further questioning.

The women were questioned about why they would allow a registered sex offender to take the child, when he had not dated the woman in more than a year, and they had already accused him of molesting the child's older sister.

Grimes is charged with injury to a child and the mother and daughter are each charged with endangering a child.

The Department of Public Safety is charging Lasha Lavatte Jones, 24, of San Augustine, with driving while intoxicated with a child passenger and endangering a child. She was arrested in August.

Authorities say Jones was drunk behind the wheel and responsible for at least two accidents within minutes of each other early Saturday morning. On top of that, she had two kids and her pregnant friend in the car.

DPS arrested Gary D. Ivy, 47, of Lufkin, in December on a charge of DWI with a child passenger.

Trooper Bryan Henry said Monday that he pulled Ivy over for weaving in and out of lanes while driving northbound and speeding on U.S. 69, in the area of FM 326, at about 8:30 p.m.

Henry said he suspected Ivy was driving drunk and asked him to take a sobriety test and a blood test, but Ivy refused to do both, he said.

"He had all symptoms of being drunk," Henry said. "Slurred speech, red eyes and he smelled like it."

Henry said new laws allowed him to take Ivy to a Lufkin hospital for a mandatory blood test. Henry explained that certain exceptions keep him from getting a warrant. In this case, it was because Ivy was driving with child passengers, aged 5, 7 and 10.

Henry said Ivy agreed at the hospital to take the test, which he failed. Henry then took him to the Angelina County Jail.

Below are details among other indictments announced on Wednesday:

* Leobardo Nieves, 20, of Lufkin, for intoxication manslaughter. Lufkin Police arrested Nieves in January after a traffic wreck on the intersection of the loop and Lotus Lane Avenue, which claimed the life of Connie McKay, 45, a Corrigan-Camden teacher.

* Melissa Smith McCleskey, 36, of Lufkin, for theft. Lufkin Police arrested McCleskey in December after it was alleged she admitted to stealing a combined $367,000 from two veterinary clinics with which she worked.

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