Mother arrested in abuse of infant daughter | RecordCourier.com

Mother arrested in abuse of infant daughter

by Sheila Gardner
sgardner@recordcourier.com

The mother of a 3-month-old infant has been charged with felony child abuse, accused of leaving her daughter in the care of the baby’s father, knowing he would harm the child.

Allisha Haltom was arrested Thursday on a warrant and held in Douglas County Jail on $36,257 bail.

At the time of her arrest, Haltom allegedly admitted using heroin. A balloon of heroin was found in her sweatshirt, according to reports.

Haltom, 25, is the mother of baby born July 15 who suffered two skull fractures and a fractured leg allegedly at the hands of her father, Jonathan Flagg, 31.

Haltom and Flagg are each facing felony child abuse charges in connection with the Oct. 19 incident.

According to the criminal complaint, Haltom continually placed the baby in the care of Flagg knowing that he was physically abusing her or knowing that abuse was likely to happen.

The charge also states that Haltom was incapable of caring for or protecting the child because she was under the influence of controlled substances, resulting in the infant sustaining two skull fractures, a fractured femur, bruising and other injuries.

East Fork Justice Tom Perkins appointed lawyer Kris Brown to represent Haltom. She is to return for a hearing Wednesday and has a preliminary hearing set for Nov. 18.

Flagg, in Douglas County Jail on $25,000 bail, was bound over to district court following a preliminary hearing on Friday.

Perkins found that the baby’s injuries – determined to be “nonaccidental” by emergency room personnel – occurred while the baby was in Flagg’s care, and there was probable cause that the defendant committed the offense.

Flagg is to appear Nov. 15 before District Judge Dave Gamble.

Prosecutor Tom Gregory said the baby is in the custody of Child Protective Services.

He submitted medical records Friday, which Perkins sealed, that described the injuries as nonaccidental trauma indicating injuries to her leg and skull.

Sheriff’s deputy John George testified Friday that he was sent to the couple’s Gardnerville Ranchos residence on Oct. 19 on an unrelated case.

When he arrived, George said Flagg was in the driveway with a neighbor who was an off-duty firefighter/paramedic.

“I could hear the loud cry of a small child coming from within the residence,” George testified.

He said the neighbor told him Flagg had called him for help. The baby was lying on a couch inside Flagg’s home and crying inconsolably.

Flagg told the deputy he placed the baby on his bed to change her diaper. He turned to clear a space and the baby rolled off the bed onto the floor.

The officer said the floor was not carpeted.

He described Flagg’s demeanor as calm, and said nobody else was in the residence when the injury allegedly occurred.

Investigator Nadine Chrzanowski testified she first contacted Flagg that evening outside the emergency room at Carson-Tahoe Regional Medical Center where the baby had been transported by paramedics.

“He told me (the baby) rolled off the bed and hurt her leg. At that point, the extent of the injuries was unknown,” Chrzanowski said.

She said Flagg seemed agitated, emotional and upset. He was pacing back and forth and displayed random bursts of temper and calm, she said.

Chrzanowski interviewed Flagg after he was taken into custody where she said he demonstrated how he picked up the baby after she fell.

“He said he grabbed her off the ground by her leg. Her head was pointed downward and he swung her by the leg. He said her head came up and he cradled her, carrying her to the couch,” Chrzanowski said.

The investigator said Flagg took responsibility for the baby’s fall, using phrases like “it happened on his watch,” or while she was “under his care.”

Deputies said Flagg appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance at the scene.

After he gave them permission to search his residence, officers found 20 hypodermic needles, drug paraphernalia and marijuana.

Flagg reportedly told deputies he had used methamphetamine Oct. 18, the day before the incident.

He has had eight prior contacts with law enforcement since 2000.

Flagg was sentenced in 2004 to one year in Douglas County Jail after he pleaded guilty to two gross misdemeanor counts of child abuse and neglect involving injuries inflicted on a six-month-old baby boy.

The child suffered bite marks, skull fractures and other head injuries. The baby’s mother – Flagg’s then-girlfriend – was sent to prison in connection with the crime.

In December 2007, Flagg was ordered to serve nine months in Douglas County Jail for punching a man in the jaw during a fight at a Stateline night club.

In December 2009, he was ordered to serve 34 months in prison for failing to repay $1,600 in bad checks and using methamphetamine in violation of his probation on the check charge.