GROVETON, TX (KTRE) - Groveton Police officers arrested a couple after the man allegedly dunked a 3-year-old boy in a bathtub full of scalding water Saturday afternoon for "pooping in his diaper," causing first- and second-degree burns to the child's buttocks and genitals
The woman told police that she coming down from a meth high and was lying on the couch when she heard the sounds of a scuffle and running water from the other room. However, she didn't get up to investigate.
The Groveton Police Department arrested Terrance Edwards, 33, for injury to a child, which is a first-degree felony. Kendra Murphy, 25, was charged with failure to report a felony, which is a Class A misdemeanor. While Murphy has since posted bail and was released from jail Sunday, Edwards was still in jail as of Wednesday afternoon.
According to Groveton Police Chief John Raiford, an ambulance was dispatched out to an apartment complex in Devine Street at approximately 3 p.m. Saturday in reference to a child with severe burns on his buttocks and genitals.
Raiford said Officer Shane Sandifer worked with deputy from the Trinity County Sheriff's Office who went to the hospital to take the initial report, according to the arrest affidavit. While the TCSO deputy was there, he saw the burns on the boy's rear end and privates. In addition, the 3-year-old boy had bruising all over his body and a swollen left eye.
A Child Protective Services investigator started question Murphy about what had happened, and authorities learned that a 2-year-old girl was involved as well, according to the arrest affidavit. The girl had bruises between her legs and all over her body.
According to the arrest affidavit, Murphy said in a written statement that every time her kids do something wrong, Edwards, her boyfriend, "whoops" them with a paddle, a belt, or his hand. She said that on Halloween night, she lay down with her kids to go to sleep. The affidavit said Edwards got home around 5.a.m. the next morning.
Murphy said that she fell asleep on the couch because she and Edwards had been smoking meth, and the kids were up eating candy, the affidavit stated. She said that he turned on the bath water because the 3-year-old boy had "pooped in his diaper."
"Murphy stated that [Edwards] thought the water was not hot," the affidavit stated.
The affidavit also stated that Murphy didn't report the child's injuries until a neighbor noticed the child walking strangely and called 911 at approximately 3 p.m. Saturday.
Raiford said the boy was taken to the Shriner's Burn Center in Galveston for treatment of his burns. In addition to the burns from the hot water, the little boy also had a lacerated liver, internal bleeding, and cigarette burns on his body. Raiford said the 3-year-old boy was up and walking around, and that it appears that he is going to be OK.
The boy and his 2-year-old sister were released into the custody of their great-grandmother, Raiford said.
Raiford said the TCSO assisted his department with the case. The matter is still under investigation, and more criminal charges could be pending.