Justin Ross Of Casper Pleads Not Guilty To Aggravated Child Abuse
A Casper man is accused of injuring a child, but he claims the child may have hurt his or herself.
Justin Ross has pleaded not guilty to one charge of aggravated child abuse.
Investigators with the Casper Police Department say in October, the child was in Ross's care.
The child's mother said before that time, the child was in good health, but when the child's grandmother picked up the child after, bruising marks to the child's face and neck could be seen.
The child was taken to a hospital, where it was determined that it had two broken ribs and a fractured skull.
An ER Doctor told detectives that the injuries were not accidental and that the injury to the skull would have been caused by extreme force.
Another child who was with both Ross and the victim for a short time, told police that Ross had choked the victim and threw him/her against a wall.
When interviewed, Ross said one night he heard a crash and a boom coming from the victim's room and assumed the child was jumping on the bed, and fell off onto a small plastic toy car.
When confronted with evidence that the injuries were forceful, Ross stated he may have mistakenly injured the child while assessing the injuries from earlier, which he didn't feel were serious.
As far the other child's claims of what happened, Ross said the victim needed a time out and stated perhaps the child fell into a wall on his/her own, and that he picked him/her up and had the child stand facing the wall again.
He also speculated that the child could have fallen multiple times.
Upon executing a search warrant on Ross's apartment, police found a small crack in a wall in the kitchen that appeared to be an impact site of where the child was thrown into.
They also found some human hair matching that of the child, embedded in the crack of the wall.
The hair is being tested for DNA.
Ross is free on $50,000 bond awaiting trial, and could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.