CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Laramie County Sheriff’s Office says that they have arrested a 36-year old man on charges that he repeatedly abused and endangered the life of an infant who is under a year old.
According to court documents, Tony Kelly, of Cheyenne, made his initial appearance in Laramie County Circuit Court on May 13th, 2020 to hear the charges of Felony Aggravated Child Abuse, Felony Child Endangering – Controlled Substance, and three separate counts of Child Abuse -Physical Injury, read to him by Judge Denise Nau.
Kelly was also officially charged with misdemeanor counts of Reckless Endangering, and Possession of Methamphetamine during the same court proceeding.
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Officials with the sheriff’s office say that on February 16th, 2020, they were contacted by the Children’s Hospital in Aurora Colorado to report the suspected abuse of a Cheyenne infant that they were treating.
An affidavit filed in the case reports that the infant had arrived at Cheyenne Medical Regional Center on February 15th, 2020, in cardiac arrest. It goes on to say that personnel at CRMC were able to revive the child transporting them via helicopter to the Children’s Hosptial. Medical personnel with the Children’s Hospital described the multiple injuries to the child as severe and “possibly life-threatening”.
Supporting court documents say that law enforcement officials were told that the infant suffered from severe hemorrhaging of the brain, swelling in the brain, retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes, detached retinas, as well as other various abrasions to their head.
It is further alleged that Kelly told medical staff that he may have dropped the infant during a diaper change and that he might have accidentally hit the child’s face on a bathtub faucet while bathing them “a while ago.” The affidavit goes on to report that the medical specialists at the Denver Hospital advised officials with the sheriff’s office that the injuries appeared to be consistent with “non-accidental” trauma and that the infant would likely face protracted impairments.
Officials with the LCSO say that, during an interview with Kelly, he informed them that the injuries occurred when he accidentally tripped while carrying the infant.
Law enforcement says that the medical staff at the Children’s Hospital advised them that they did not believe the fall described by Kelly would cause those specific injuries to the infant.
Authorities report that they also interviewed another member of the household who told them that they returned home shortly after the incident was said to have occurred. The other household member reported to the police that the infant appeared “pale and limp”.
Investigators say that the approximate timeline provided to them to when the injuries were said to have occured contradicted what he told the medical personal at the Children’s Hospital.
Court documents say that after a search warrant was served for Kelly’s residence, baggies with suspected methamphetamine were located by investigators. Law enforcement says that samples of the suspected narcotics were sent to the Wyoming Crime Lab for further evaluation.
LCSO also says that further examination of the residence led them to believe that the version of Kelly’s account to be improbable. Investigators also report that they observed other physical evidence in the residence that directly contradict other statements made by Kelly.
A search of a phone belonging to a member of the residence is said to have revealed that Kelly did not make any attempt to contact medical services at the time the child’s injuries were said to have occurred.
Court papers say that investigators were also able to speak to an individual who provided text message images that they had received from the other member of the household that indicated that the infant had possibly received multiple other injuries over the previous months.
Kelly was not granted bond during his court appearance.
According to Wyoming state statutes, if convicted on all charges, Kelly could face up to 60 years in prison and/or a fine of up to 47k.
All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Laramie County District Attorney’s Office.