When two suspects, arrested Friday and accused of causing multiple injuries to a child, appeared before Judge Dena Martin for initial hearings in Greene Superior Court Tuesday morning, they were both charged with several felonies and the judge set bond - $75,000, cash only, in both cases.
Michael Sean Liechty, 29, and Bonnie Rene Bambi Lynn Irvin, 19, both of Linton, were taken into custody by Linton Police Det. Josh Goodman as a result of an investigation into a report of severe child abuse.
At the conclusion of Liechty's initial hearing, the judge asked Greene County Deputy Prosecutor Keven McIntosh for a recommendation on the amount of the bond.
McIntosh said that in light of the serious nature of the allegations, the prosecution was asking for a $50,000 cash-only bond.
Without comment, Judge Martin responded by telling Liechty his bond was set at $75,000, cash only.
During Irvin's hearing, McIntosh asked for, and the judge set, her bond at the same amount.
The Linton Police Department reported earlier that the child was found to be suffering from multiple injuries, allegedly sustained as a result of ongoing abuse over a period of weeks, and was transported to Greene County General Hospital early Friday for medical treatment.
Linton Police Chief Troy Jerrell explained on Saturday that the LPD received a report about possible child abuse at a residence in Linton, and they followed up.
This led to an investigation, and medical attention for the injured child.
The report came in on Thursday and Det. Goodman was dispatched to speak with two people who had been babysitting the child and were concerned.
The babysitters had taken pictures and showed them to Goodman who reported that in the photographs, it appeared the child had numerous severe bruises and red marks on the face, head, ears and all over the back, long scratch marks on both sides of the neck, and a possible busted lip. He noted the number of bruises was high, they varied in size and stage of healing, indicating they were sustained over a period of time.
While Goodman was interviewing the babysitters, LPD Officers Jason Wilson and Tom Jerrels were dispatched directly to the residence to ensure the immediate safety of the child.
Liechty, Irvin, the child and Liechty's mother, who was visiting the home at the time, were all transported to the police department and from there, the child was transported to the hospital by Greene County Rescue. No additional information on the child's condition has been released.
The Department of Child Services (DCS) was also contacted and is investigating.
After interviews with all, Liechty and Irvin were taken into custody by the detective and booked into the Greene County Jail at 4:55 and 5:24 a.m. Friday.
According to affidavits written by Goodman to establish probable cause, Liechty's mother said they had a family meeting about the situation just before the arrival of the officers and they had decided to contact social services to see if the child needed medicine to help with behavior.
Liechty and Irvin both admitted to some of their own behavior but their stories contradicted each other. They also blamed the child with causing some of his own injuries.
In a report released by the LPD on Saturday, during the investigation, "officers learned that the young child living in the residence had been strangled, battered by hands, throwing the child into the walls and floor, struck with a wooden object, and confined while being held in cold water for long periods of time."
Police allege both Liechty and Irvin had been physically abusing Liechty's child for a minimum of several weeks.
Some of the details were included in the affidavits. The two are accused of holding the child in a confined space while spraying the child with cold water for 20-30 minutes at a time. Irvin is accused of, and allegedly admitted, pulling the child up to where feet came out from under the body, then pulling the child to a point where the face was smacked down on the floor and the nose was bloodied. Liechty is accused of, but did not admit to, picking up and throwing the child against the wall with enough force that the walls broke, leaving holes in the wall.
Police say a search of the residence, located at 625 N. Grant St. in Linton, yielded evidence including a wooden object allegedly being used to strike the child.
The Greene County Prosecutor's Office filed criminal cases against both Liechty and Irvin on Monday.
During Tuesday's hearing for Liechty, he was charged with four felony counts: Battery resulting in bodily injury to a victim less than 14 years old, a class D felony; neglect of a dependent, a class C felony; neglect of a dependent - involving cruel confinement, a class D felony; and neglect of a dependent - depriving dependent of necessary support specifically medical care, a class D felony.
Liechty told the judge he lives with Irvin and his child in Linton, was employed at Great Dane Trailers in Brazil and does not own real estate or a vehicle. Deputy Public Defender James Riester was appointed to represent him.
During the hearing for Irvin, she was charged with the same four felony counts plus one additional count: Strangulation, a class D felony.
Irvin told the judge she lives with her "ex-fiance" Liechty and his child in Linton, was not employed and has never been employed, has no income and does not own real estate or a vehicle. Irvin was also reported to be pregnant. Public Defender Alan Baughman was appointed to represent her.
Both defendants were ordered to have no contact with the child involved in the case.