Friday, February 18, 2011

Mother pleads innocent to murder

February 18, 2011 - By MARY ANN GREIER Staff Writer
LISBON - A former Salem woman accused of purposely causing the 2010 death of her infant son pleaded innocent to charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter and endangering children.
Miranda V. Todd, 23, whose last known address was listed as the county jail in Lisbon, cried as she appeared for arraignment Thursday afternoon in county Common Pleas Court before Judge C. Ashley Pike.
She was originally scheduled to appear through video arraignment from the jail, but due to technical difficulties, she was transported in shackles and chains by deputies so she could appear in person, along with some other defendants.
A $250,000 cash or surety bond was continued, ensuring she will remain in jail where she has been in custody since Dec. 14. She was found to be indigent and was appointed counsel at county expense, with Salem attorneys Jennifer Gorby and Charley Kidder named as her defense team.
Salem police were called to the emergency room at Salem Community Hospital on July 23 for a deceased infant who had "multiple bruises and swelling to his head," according to an affidavit by Detective Dave Talbert.
The infant was Todd's 7-month-old son, Derek Dennison. Todd had been living in a residence on North Ellsworth Avenue in Salem at the time and took him to the hospital in an unresponsive state. Efforts to revive him failed.
In the affidavit, Talbert said the autopsy performed on the child by the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office "revealed numerous injuries including skull and rib fractures." He also said it appeared the injuries occurred over time.
Talbert had filed the affidavit when Todd was charged in December in county Municipal Court with endangering children after authorities heard she may be leaving town. She was indicted last month by the county grand jury for the other charges, along with the endangering children charge.
If convicted of all three charges and ordered to serve consecutive sentences, she could be facing 30 years to life in prison, with a sentence of 15 years to life for murder, a maximum 10 years for manslaughter and a maximum five years for endangering children.
The murder indictment alleges that on or about July 22, Todd purposely caused the death of her son, while the involuntary manslaughter indictment alleges that on or about the month of July, she caused his death as a result of committing the offense of endangering children.
The endangering children charge alleges that on or about the month of July, she created "a substantial risk to the health or safety of Derek Dennison, by violating a duty of care, protection, or support, when such violation resulted in Derek Dennison suffering serious physical harm." Talbert's affidavit alleged she failed to obtain appropriate medical treatment for injuries sustained by her son.
No hearing dates have been set.
Also among those appearing for arraignment and pleading innocent to charges were David Wright Jr., 25, of 1766 Clark Ave., Wellsville, and Erica Coil, 24, whose last known address was Wood Alley, East Liverpool.
Wright is charged with aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony, for allegedly invading an elderly woman's home in Wellsville and injuring her on Dec. 28. Court documents alleged he pushed the 75-year-old woman, resulting in her suffering a broken rib, sprained wrist and bruised side. The charge carries a possible penalty of three to 10 years in prison if he's convicted.
Coil is charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony which carries a possible penalty of two to eight years in prison. The indictment alleged she tried to harm James Plum Jr. with a knife on Oct. 24 at the Wood Alley residence.

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