Russell County

Mother of abused newborn arrested

Mother of abused newborn arrested

RUSSELL COUNTY, Va. - Barely a month old, a St. Paul, Virginia baby was taken to the hospital for broken bones due to alleged abuse.

We've learned officers have arrested the child's mother in connection with the crime. Police had already charged her boyfriend, Evan Johnson, for child abuse.

Officers say Johnson shook the little girl, breaking two of her ribs and her leg.

The child's mother, Cassondra Wallace, told us earlier before she was charged with child endangerment that she left her newborn baby with Johnson, and later noticed swelling on her daughter's leg. 

Wallace took her baby to the hospital.  Officers say doctors there alerted them about suspicious injuries.

After interviewing Johnson, police say statements he made, along with other evidence, led to his arrest for child abuse. "I hope he knows every single day that Erica is going to be fine and she's going to be happy and she's going to strive even though he hurt her," says Cassondra Wallace, the baby's mother.

Wallace tells us she no idea that Johnson was hurting her baby, but police arrested her for child endangerment. They say she knew her daughter was being abused and didn't do anything to protect her.

"A 28-day-old baby, we're the voice for that baby. It can't speak and tell anybody what's going on, so it's our job to go in there and be its voice," says Chief Bo Phillips with the St. Paul, Va. Police Dept.

Officers tell us the child is out of the hospital and with a foster family.

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