CATLETTSBURG An Ashland man accused of breaking a 7-month-old baby’s leg and ribs rejected a plea deal Friday in which he would’ve served eight years in prison.
Christopher M. Walters, 31, is scheduled to go to trial in Boyd County Circuit Court Aug. 17, after rejecting the commonwealth’s offer to plead guilty to first-degree child abuse. Walters faces between five and 10 years in prison if convicted of the charge.
His fiancee, Larissa Ortega, 25, is scheduled to enter a plea in the case on Feb. 14, a year to the day of her arrest.
Court records show Walters and Ortega took the child to King’s Daughter Medical Center on Feb. 13, 2019, with a fractured femur and three fractured ribs. Ortega told investigators she noticed the child would cry over the previous three days whenever she changed his diapers or moved him, according to a search warrant affidavit. When they noticed the baby was in more pain and his leg was swelling, they took him in for medical treatment, records show.
Both told Ashland detectives a large dog may have sat on the child, police said.
The criminal citation filed in the case states the couple later told investigators Walters held the baby by the leg and pushed on his stomach, causing him to scream three days prior. Ortega told detectives this was a common technique they used to help the baby defecate, the citation stated. However, the crying was “very unusual,” according to the citation.
The search warrant affidavit shows detectives found little food in the home, freezer-burnt meat and sausages that had expired in 2015 at their home in the 2300 block of Beech Street. Urine stained the child’s playpen, the affidavit stated. Detectives also found a torn, soiled diaper and cigarette butts in the playpen, according to court records.
Judge George Davis III scheduled Walters’ next court date for April 24.
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