A prosecutor faced questions from a judge Thursday, Feb. 7, about a case where police say a woman didn’t give her infant son prescribed medication, causing him to have seizures.
Sha’Ron Watkins, 24, was arrested Thursday, Feb. 7, and charged with child neglect, a class C felony. The charge stems from an incident in June, where her son, who was then about 4 months old, was removed by Williams County Social Services, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Northwest District Court.
The child, who is now nearly 1 year old, was removed because of an investigation by Social Services, charging documents indicate. Social Services workers saw the child had visible seizures approximately every five minutes and a medical test showed he was also having seizures that weren’t visible.
Medical personnel told workers that the boy should have been taking daily anti-seizure medication. When Social Services workers contacted Watkins, she told them the boy should be taking the medicine, but had run out, court records state.
“Ms. Watkins did not refill (the child’s) prescription and indicated that she was ‘unsure’ how long (the child) had been without the medication,” investigators wrote in the probable cause affidavit.
After Social Services workers obtained the medicine, the boy’s seizures were reduced, according to court documents.
At a bond hearing Thursday, Eric Lundberg, assistant state’s attorney for Williams County, asked for Watkins’ bond to be set at $5,000. He told Northwest District Judge Benjamen Johnson that the child suffered extensive damage from the seizures.
Lundberg said the prosecution would have asked for a higher bond, but Watkins was only facing a single class C felony charge.
“The situation kind of speaks for itself,” he told Johnson.
The judge, however, questioned Lundberg about the case.
“Unless you tell me that she specifically withheld the medication to hurt the child, I don’t see why it should be $5,000 (bond),” Johnson said.
Lundberg said the child had suffered other injuries, as well, and under questioning from Johnson said the injuries were likely caused by abuse.
Johnson asked why there was only one charge then.
“When there are instances like this, why are they not charged together so there’s an adequate record for me to make a decision on?” he asked.
Lundberg said he didn’t have an answer to that.
Johnson said he didn’t think $5,000 bond was appropriate given the affidavit and the arguments during the bond hearing. He ordered Watkins released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. While free on bond she is not allowed to have any contact with the child.
Watkins is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on the charge on March 7.