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Pair indicted for alleged beating of child

A mother and stepfather have been indicted by a Lawrence County grand jury more than a month after allegations surfaced that the two beat their 6-year-old child with a belt.

The boy’s mother, Jessica Neal, 26, and stepfather, Travis Neal, 24, both of 1126 County Road 62, Willow Wood, were each charged with a third-degree count of child endangerment and a second-degree count of felonious assault.

The couple was arrested in mid-December after a school nurse notified children’s services of the child’s injuries.

Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson said at the time that the child had extensive bruising and welts on his back.

The child has been removed from the home pending a conclusion in the case.

Others indicted this week, according to the office of Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson, are:

• Jeffrey S. Stephenson, 57, of 204 High St., South Point, abusing harmful intoxicants;

• Stephen J. Sexton, 57, 5047 N. Fifth St., Ironton, possession of a firearm in a beer or liquor permit premises, aggravated menacing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct;

• John M. Debelle, 29, of 1023 S. Fifth St., Ironton, violating a protection order or consent agreement and domestic violence;

• Christopher M. Young, 22, of 304 N. Second St., Ironton, failure to notify change of address and failure to register;

• Shawn A. Miller, 28, of 2617 S. Fourth St., Ironton, theft;

• Misty M. Ashworth, 36, of 2936 U.S. 23, Piketon, possession of cocaine, falsification, possession of drug abuse instruments and possession of drug paraphernalia;

• Christopher A. Lowe, 29, of 351 Township Road 271 W., Ironton, complicity to illegal manufacture of drugs;

• Ben Smith, 35, of 909 N. Second St., Ironton, illegal manufacture of drugs and possession of drug abuse instruments;

• John Waugh, 36, of 3305 South Bend St., Loris, S.C., illegal manufacture of drugs and possession of drugs;

• Rashard Carter, 22, of 605 S. Eighth St. Apt. B, Ironton, aggravated burglary;

• Christopher L. Snead, 27, of 2950 Seventh Ave., Huntington, W.Va., three counts of burglary;

• Donald E. Sharp, 33, of 309 Second Ave., Chesapeake, receiving stolen property and theft;

• Zachary R. Taubenheim, 28, of 400 Township Road 1090, Proctorville, aggravated robbery;

• Craig P. Wysong II, 24, of 2395 County Road 66, Proctorville, aggravated robbery.

An indictment is a formal allegation that an individual has committed a crime.

The accused are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.