Pair indicted for alleged beating of child

Published 11:17 am Thursday, January 30, 2014

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.

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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;

• 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.