Parents charged with child neglect

Published 10:16 pm Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Two Suffolk parents were arrested Friday on felony charges of child neglect and injury to a child stemming from a December doctor’s visit.

Jardain Maurice Copeland, 26, and Denise Baton, 24, each posted $20,000 bond from Western Tidewater Regional Jail after their arrest.

According to city spokeswoman Debbie George, the parents took their then 8-month-old son to a physician in December to be treated for a cold. The doctor became concerned when he noticed the child “appeared listless and emaciated,” George said. The child weighed only 10 pounds.


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The doctor contacted police, and the boy was admitted to Sentara Obici Hospital and later transferred to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. He was treated for malnourishment and recovered, George said.

The boy and his sister were removed from the home and placed in foster care while officers investigated the case. George said the case was reviewed by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, and a number of pieces of medical evidence had to be taken into account.

“Because the children were in foster care, they were safe and there was no danger,” George said. “They [investigators] were able to gather all the evidence they needed to bring this case to court.”

Both defendants are due in court Wednesday to be advised about obtaining an attorney.