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All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Ronnie Reece, 20, and Kylen Jenkins, 21, of Riverton, are each facing two counts of felony child abuse and one count felony child abuse – aid and abet after an infant in their care was found with more than ten broken bones.
Court documents state Reece and Jenkins say the broken bones are from an accidental fall with the infant. Doctors say those injuries are “non-accidental.” Both felony counts have a maximum penalty of imprisonment for no more than 10 years. Yesterday, September 25th, 2019, Circuit Court Judge Wesley A. Roberts held the preliminary hearing for this case. It is now under the advisement of Judge Roberts.
Reece and Jenkin’s 3-month-old infant was reportedly referred to the Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHC) by a Fremont County pediatrician on February 11th, 2019 for an urgent surgical consultation that caused the infant eating difficulty.
The following day, February 12th, at CHC it is reported in court documents the infant’s weight was equivalent to a 3-week-old. According to CHC doctors, that weight is far less than reasonable for the complications nasal abscess caused while eating. This caused a strong concern for the infant’s “failure to thrive.”
Pre-surgery scans and tests at CHC allegedly revealed:
- 9 healing broken ribs
- healing metaphyseal fractures of the left radius and ulna [two large bones in the forearm]
Court documents state CHC doctors and staff reported multiple concerns about Reece and Jenkin’s “ability and desire” to meet their infants’ needs since arriving at the hospital. Reece and Jenkins allegedly “demonstrated lack of interest, lack of consoling the child when needed, lack of knowledge and appropriate feeding amounts, even disregard for diaper changes.” This prompted a consultation with the hospital’s Child Protection Medical Team (CPMT).
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Court documents note CPMT ordered a skeletal exam that allegedly revealed two additional broken ribs [total 11] and a torn frenulum [flap of skin underneath the top lip that connects to the upper jaw]. It also confirmed the two fractures in the left forearm.
CPMT doctors noted these injuries “would have caused pain, distress and obvious crying from the infant.” According to court documents the rib fractures were estimated to be 7-10 days old. A doctor noted infant’s ribs are difficult to break and very flexible. “…the number of injuries, as well as the mechanism of the injuries are labeled ‘high concern’ for child abuse, and was diagnosed as ‘non-accidental traumatic injury to child’.”
The above information was provided to a Fremont County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Detective by CHC on Saturday, February 16, 2019. The following Monday, February 18, the detective interviewed both Reece and Jenkins at the FCSO in Riverton, WY.
Both allegedly confirmed they have been the direct caretakers of the infant since birth with the exception of two nights and a few hours during two afternoons.
Court documents state when questioned about the infant’s injuries, “…Reece said that he believed an accident where Jenkins had tripped over the dog was the cause of the injury. He said that his very large dog bowled over Jenkins and caused her to fall onto the infant…” This reportedly happened a week before going to CHC.
The detective notes in the court documents during the investigation, a family member reported calling the Wyoming Child Abuse hotline because the infant was covered by a blanket in a bassinet located in a closet, while Reece and Jenkins smoked marijuana on Christmas Eve. Reece denied smoking marijuana in Wyoming. However, he admitted he and Jenkins left CHC while the infant was in the hospital and smoked marijuana.
During the detective’s interview with Jenkins, she allegedly shared the infant “is an escape artist out of getting out of his swaddle blanket.” Jenkins reportedly showed the detective how she was told to wrap the infant’s arms at their sides and slightly under. Jenkins shared this was the only thing she could think of that broke the infant’s arm. Jenkins also shared, “…they own a very large dog that had knocked her over while she was holding the infant, and that she had landed on the child…” She did not believe anything was wrong with the infant since they did not act injured or bruised. Jenkins allegedly demonstrated the fall to the detective and confirmed she did not have a direct, full force fall on the infant.
During the preliminary hearing on Wednesday, September 25, 2019, the defending attorney shared Reece and Jenkins took the infant to a pediatrician for the 10-day-old, one-month, and two-month wellness checks. It is noted in court documents on the one-month wellness check the infant “had not gained weight as would be anticipated.” Weekly weight checks were recommended until a stable weight gain with at least 1oz per day. Reece and Jenkins took the infant in for weekly weight checks following the recommendation of the one-month wellness check.
According to court documents at the two-month wellness exam on January 30, 2019, the infant weighed 8lbs 15ozs, under the first percentile and had gained one pound since the one-month wellness exam. The two-month exam is also the first notation of a feeding and nasal issue. This was the last reported visit with their first pediatrician.
The next doctor visit is reported on February 11, 2019, with a new pediatrician. Court documents note the infant had gained 1oz since the last weight check on January 30, 2019. It also notes a “symmetric pale nasal septal mass obstructing both nares and associated erythema over nose.” The pediatrician referred the infant to CHC at this appointment. It was the doctor’s recommendation to take the infant there within a week. Jenkins and Reece went to CHC the following day.
Court documents state, “The Medical Team noted the biomechanics of posterior rib fractures were not compatible with being fallen on. Further, swaddling arms behind the back would not be able to cause the fractures to the arms. They said the left arm fracture was due to traction, such as pulling or jerking the arms, not from wrapping in a blanket, no matter how tightly.”
County 10 will release an update when Judge Roberts makes a ruling about this case.
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