Tag Archives: child abuse

CHARGES DROPPED IN TWENTYNINE PALMS CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION

This update on a story we aired last week. A felony child abuse charge against a Twentynine Palms woman was dropped last week. Stephenie Randels, 36, was arrested January 10, accused of abusing her daughter. When she was booked into jail, the charge against her was reduced to a misdemeanor, and on Friday, January 17, Stephenie Randels was released from jail, with no court appearance scheduled.

CHILD ABUSE CHARGE DROPPED AGAINST TWENTYNINE PALMS WOMAN

Update 9 a.m. January 20, 2020:

This update on a story we aired last week. A felony child abuse charge against a Twentynine Palms woman was dropped last week. Stephenie Randels, 36, was arrested January 10, accused of abusing her daughter. When she was booked into jail, the charge against her was reduced to a misdemeanor, and on Friday, January 17, Stephenie Randels was released from jail, with no court appearance scheduled.


Update 7:30 a.m. January 16, 2020:

The felony child abuse charge against Stephenie Randels has been reduced to a charge of misdemeanor willful cruelty to a child , with her bail set at $25,000. She is scheduled to appear in court on Friday, January 17.

Deputies responding to a tip of possible child abuse arrested the child’s mother Friday. Deputies went to a home in the 6000 block of Mariposa Avenue in Twentynine Palms to check on a child about 5:30 p.m. Deputies determined that she had injuries to her jaw, and that her mother, Stephenie Randels, 36, had caused the injuries. Stephanie Randels was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, booked into the West Valley Detention Center, with her bail set at $100,000.

NEW LAWS AFFECTING CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND EDUCATION

Several new laws that take affect in 2020 will affect the criminal justice system and those who come in contact with it. Social workers and probation officers will be required to give children who are in foster care two weeks notice if the foster parents have requested a placement change. Adults who have survived sexual abuse as a child will be allowed to file a lawsuit up until they are 40 years old, or even later, if they can connect the abuse to a psychological injury or illness in the last five years. And as of January 1, private prisons and immigration detention centers will no longer be allowed to sign or renew contracts with the state. The goal is to abolish private prisons and detention centers by 2028. And employers, co-workers, and teachers who fear someone will harm themselves or others can get a restraining order for gun violence. This will allow law enforcement officers to take away a person’s guns.

Reporter Ernest Figueroa has more about new laws affecting education in California…

Dreamers—young, undocumented residents who were brought to the U.S. as children—who want to get a graduate degree from a public university in California will be eligible for student loans and in-state tuition. Parents can decide if their children can take medical marijuana on a school campus. Students must have a doctor’s prescription, and the marijuana can’t be stored on the school campus. 

JUDGE OVERTURNS $113.4 MILLION JUDGEMENT FOR FORMER YUCCA VALLEY BOY

In a rare move, a San Bernardino Superior Court judge has overturned a record $113.4 million jury award to a 10-year-old former Yucca Valley boy who suffered severe brain damage and was rendered a quadriplegic from beatings by his father’s girlfriend. Judge Bryan Foster determined on October 30 that county social worker Karen Perry was in “no way responsible” for the injuries inflicted upon Noah Reed, and thus nullified the jury’s decision to hold the county responsible financially for the boy’s life-changing injuries. Noah was 5 at the time of the abuse at his Yucca Valley home in 2014. In a news release, Foster said, “Evidence establishes that there was full compliance with all mandatory duties required by the county. There is no substantial evidence to support the jury’s finding of violation of the mandatory duties alleged.” Perry worked as a social worker for the county until November 11, 2017. Noah and his mother, now living in upstate New York, were awarded $100 million for past and future pain and suffering, $9.9 million for future medical expenses, $2.9 million for loss of future earnings, and $602,625 for past medical expenses. A county spokesman said, “Clearly, the jury was outraged by what had happened to Noah, as was the county, and mistakenly directed that outrage toward the county. The judge agreed the jury’s decision was in error.”

TWENTYNINE PALMS GRANDMOTHER ACCUSED OF CHILD ABUSE

A Twentynine Palms grandmother was arrested in July, accused of abusing an eight-month-old baby. According to a Sheriff’s report, the baby was brought by family members to Loma Linda University Medical Center July 24 for an x-ray exam. During the medical exam, pediatricians found a fracture to the baby’s right arm, which they felt was consistent with suspected child abuse. Investigators determined that the injury happened when the baby was in the care of Felicia Howard, 49, who is the baby’s paternal grandmother. Howard was arrested the next day for investigation of felony child abuse. She was booked at the Central Detention Center, but released August 1 on her own recognizance following a preliminary hearing. Her next court appearance is set for August 21.