Affidavit: Corrigan man burned baby's hand by holding it under scalding water

Affidavit: Corrigan man burned baby's hand by holding it under scalding water

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the Lufkin Police Department arrested a 25-year-old man last week in connection to allegations that he held a 6-month-old baby boy's hand under scalding water long enough that it caused severe burns.

Octavius Marques Hulett, of Corrigan, was booked into the Angelina County Jail on a state-jail felony endangering a child charge on Feb. 17. He posted an unspecified bail amount and was released from jail later that day.

According to the arrest affidavit East Texas News obtained Tuesday, a Lufkin PD detective was contacted by a special investigator with Child Protective Services on Jan. 25 about a case he was working that involved a 6-month-old baby with a severe burn on his left hand. The CPS special investigator provided the LPD detective with a copy of their report and photos of the baby's hand.

The Lufkin PD detective learned that Hulett was living with his girlfriend, when the girlfriend's female friend and the friend's 6-month-old son moved in with them. The CPS special investigator told the LPD detective that the 6-month-old boy's burn was allegedly caused on Jan. 19 or Jan. 20, but Hulett and his girlfriend did not seek medical attention for the child until Jan. 24.

"Children are much more at risk for burns and mortality for burns than we are," said Lufkin ER Dr. Lee Bales. "They're smaller, so the same size burn on a child is a much larger area."

In recorded interviews, Hulett and the baby's mother had put the baby boy's hand under running water without checking the water's temperature before he did so. Hulett noticed that the baby's skin was beginning t o turn white in color, and blisters started to form, the affidavit stated.

At that point, Hulett allegedly took the child to the baby's mother in the living room. The affidavit stated that Hulett and the baby's mother discussed seeking medical attention for the baby.

Bales stated there are three types of burns.

"There are first degree burns that leave a pink burn mark," Bales said. "Second degree burns cause white blanching and blistering. Third degree causes charring and you loose feeling on the nerves."

However, Hulett and the baby's mother decided to "home remedy" the burn, the affidavit stated. Together, they applied burn cream and gauze to the baby's hand.

About four or five days later, Hulett and the child's mother realized that the child's injury was only getting worse, and they asked family members for advice, the affidavit stated. The family members urged them to take the child to the hospital.

"You want to air on the side of caution when we are talking about our children," said Harold's House child advocate Ashley Cook. "If it something that is accidental, just explain what happened, and the staff will understand that."

After the child was taken to a Lufkin emergency room, the baby was immediately taken to Hermann Memorial Hospital in Houston.

A doctor provided a case synopsis, which stated, "Given the severity of the burn and the pain that it obviously caused the child, the delay in care of at least 4 days is completely inexcusable. The burn is very suspicious for inflicted physical abuse and represents clear evidence of medical neglect."

Later, the Lufkin PD detective and an LPD corporal went to the couple's residence and measured the hot water at the bathroom sink to be 143 degrees Fahrenheit.

"Turn down your hot water heater to 99-100 degrees," Bales said. "Something that in case your child was to fall into the water or accidentally turn the tap on that whatever water coming out would not be dangerous. Also never leave a child unattended when pouring the water where they could change the tap."

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