EDITOR’s NOTE:The following story contains graphic descriptions of child abuse, which users may find disturbing. Discretion is advised.
ST. ANTHONY — A judge sent a local woman on a rider program after investigators found a months-old baby with severe injuries. Lindsey Slagle, 21, received her sentence last week after previously pleading guilty to felony attempted injury to a child for not stopping the abuse of the child. District Judge Steven Boyce gave an underlying two- to five-year prison sentence, which could be imposed following the rider.
A rider program is when a judge sends a person to prison for up to a year to undergo different treatment programs. When the inmate has completed the program, the judge can then decide to send them back to prison or release them on probation. As part of a plea agreement made with Fremont County prosecutors, Slagle pleaded guilty to the charge and they recommended she be placed on probation, according to court minutes obtained by EastIdahoNews.com. The sentencing was for a crime committed in August.
Fremont County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Slagle and Mekenzee Grant after conducting a welfare check on a 4-month old boy living in a camper trailer with the couple. While there, investigators discovered injuries under the child’s onesie. A deputy observed the boy had bruises on his chest and neck. In the probable cause, the deputy also noted scrapes on the baby’s head as well as red marks all over his back. Deputies also noticed the 4-month-old boy had piercings in his ears. Doctors also determined the boy had fractured ribs.
When initially asked what happened, Slagle said the injuries occurred while family members watched the boy in Idaho Falls. “(Grant) stated he did not know how the injuries got there but stated Slagle will blame it all on him,” court documents read. “He stated Slagle always blames other people to get herself out of trouble.”
According to court documents, Grant told investigators he and Slagle had pierced the baby’s ears on their own with earrings they had in the trailer. When asked, Grant reportedly said he didn’t think it was a big deal since “males get their ears pierced all the time.” Grant said the boy allegedly fell from a seat, which caused the injuries. Later, when investigators spoke with Slagle again, a different story emerged. Slagle told investigators that Grant has a history of abusing children.
Slagle said the night before, the baby started to cry. She said Grant grabbed the baby by the throat and began to “choke him out.” She said Grant would push the baby’s face into the blankets, and the bruising came from Grant squeezing the boy as hard as he could. The abrasion on the boy’s head allegedly came from him scooting across the carpet.
When asked why she did not call 911, Slagle reportedly told deputies she did not have a phone, and Grant would not let her use his. Boyce placed Grant on a rider program in December after he pleaded guilty to felony injury to a child. Grant received an underlying three- to eight-year prison sentence if Grant does not successfully complete the rider program.