Mom in jail, 4-year-old son in ICU
As many children chatter excitedly about what Santa will bring them for Christmas, a 4-year-old boy lies in the pediatric intensive care unit at Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital, Cedar Crest.
The little boy’s brain is bleeding, and he has multiple head and face contusions and bruises. Both of his eyes are swollen shut, and his ears, hands, face and legs are severely bruised.
Some of the bruises are in various stages of healing, meaning they are older than others.
His mother, the child told a doctor, hits him on the head with a stick and smacks him in the face with her hand.
His mother, Ashlyn E. McCartney, 24, of Hanover Township, Lehigh County, told state troopers she is “not innocent, but didn’t intend to send her child to the pediatric intensive care unit.”
The former Jim Thorpe resident is in Carbon County prison under $500,000 straight cash bail, charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children and simple assault.
According to a criminal complaint filed by Lehighton State trooper Leo Petrucci, he was given the case on Nov. 27 by the Carbon County district attorney’s office.
Petrucci learned the little boy was dropped off at the offices of Carbon County Children and Youth Services agency on Nov. 26.
Suffering from severe head and face injuries, he was taken to Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital-Cedar Crest.
The child’s injuries were inflicted at the home of Matthew D. Muchmore, on the 5000 block of Interchange Road, Towamensing Township.
Muchmore told troopers McCartney and her little boy had stayed with him for about a week before Thanksgiving.
On the evening of Nov. 21, the boy was in the bathroom with McCartney with the door closed.
Muchmore told troopers he heard loud banging on the floor. The little boy was crying as McCartney was angrily yelling at him.
The child came out of the bathroom, bleeding from a cut on his head.
Muchmore said that on the afternoon of Nov. 23, he came home from his mother’s house next door to find his wooden paddle, broken into pieces.
The boy had “done something wrong,” McCartney told him, and she broke the paddle as she hit him with it.
The boy was sleeping when Muchmore arrived home, he told troopers. That evening, the child came out of the bedroom, walking through the kitchen to the dining room.
Muchmore told the troopers the child was severely injured. His eyes were swollen shut, and his face was red and bruised.
A friend of Muchmore and McCartney took the little boy, dropping him off at the Children and Youth offices two days later.
On Nov. 28, McCartney waived her Miranda rights and told troopers the child wouldn’t sit in the tub while she tried to give him a bath.
She said she pulled on his arms, and he fell, hitting his head on the side of the tub.
McCartney told troopers this happened three or four times.
She told the troopers the child “hates her, and refuses to listen to her, resulting in hurt feelings and frustration.”
She said she used the paddle to discipline the boy.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Dec. 12 before District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton.