A 19-year-old woman is facing a felony charge in McKenzie County after police say she hit a child she was watching so hard she left bruises.

Chevelle Ezell was charged Monday, July 6, with a class B felony count of child abuse. She was ordered held on $3,000 bond.

Police started investigating after a call Wednesday, July 1, about a young child at McKenzie County Hospital with bruises to the face and buttocks, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Northwest District Court. A doctor told officers that the bruises were caused by a flat object or a person’s hand and would have required a good deal of force to create.

The child’s mother said she noticed the bruises when she picked the child up from the babysitter that day, court records state. Ezell had been caring for the child.

When an officer interviewed Ezell the next day, she first said she never hit the child, but later changed her story, charging documents indicate. She told officers she spanked the child two or three times because the child had been fighting with an older sibling.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 6.

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