Monday, February 11, 2013
Cops: Mom failed to help abused daughter before boyfriend killed her
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013
A week after her boyfriend pleaded guilty to murdering her 18-month-old daughter, a Bristol Township woman is facing criminal charges because authorities say she knew the girl was being injured and did nothing to stop it.
Bensalem police allege that Nakia Adams, 28, knew that Adrian Allen, 28, had physically abused Barbara Adams before he fatally injured the girl on Feb. 25, 2012. They also say she she lied about how the injuries happened and neglected to get the girl prompt treatment.
Adams, of Haines Road, was arraigned Monday before Bensalem District Judge Leonard Brown on a charge of endangering the welfare of children. She was released on $75,000 unsecured bail.
Police didn’t say why they waited almost a year before filing charges against Adams.
Hospital and autopsy records show that multiple injuries were inflicted on Barbara Adams during the two months before her death. They included a broken arm, a broken leg, broken ribs, a human adult bite mark on her upper arm, and bruising and scars covered her body. She died 11 days after Allen kicked her in the head after she soiled her diaper.
Adams was “very well aware of (Barbara) suffering many injuries under her boyfriend’s care and still allowing him to care for her until the tragic death of the child,” according to a probable cause affidavit.
Police say that on Jan. 7, 2012, Adams took Barbara to Aria Health’s Torresdale campus, where she told hospital workers the baby appeared to be suffering side effects from vaccinations she received a few weeks before. She told the medical staff that Barbara had developed a full body rash a week after getting the shots and was lethargic for three days, according to an affidavit.
“Today, she can’t walk on her right leg,” she also told the ER workers, according to the affidavit, in which the mother is also quoted as saying the girl also had favored her left arm.
Adams left the emergency room after waiting a few hours without allowing doctors to treat Barbara, police said.
The next day, Adams took the girl to St. Mary Medical Center – not for treatment of her arm – but for a spiral fracture of her right leg. The primary report by the ER staff stated that Adams claimed her daughter’s leg and hip pain began the day before. The ER staff also found several old burn marks on the girl’s upper left leg and a spiral fracture of the leg, police said.
“She failed to mention anything about the baby’s arm,” according to court documents.
The mother also lied about who was caring for the child when she was injured, police said. She told St. Mary workers the injuries were caused by a babysitter whom she had since fired. She later admitted Allen was the babysitter.
St. Mary Medical Center notified police about the injuries. They, in turn, notified Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services, which investigated how the child broke her leg. The District Attorney’s Office has said it appears the agency was satisfied with Adams’ explanation that her two older sisters accidentally broke the girl’s leg while roughhousing and closed the case.
Barbara’s last trip to the ER was Feb. 26, after Adams told police she arrived at her Bensalem apartment around 6:45 p.m. to find her daughter in bed and unresponsive. She told police the girl appeared to be grinding her teeth and looked as though she had suffered a seizure.
Adams told officials she left Barbara and her sisters – ages 5 and 8 – with Allen the weekend of Feb. 24 while she was out of town. Allen, who isn’t the father of any of the children, regularly babysat for Adams, police said.
At first, Allen told police the child became sick on Feb. 25, was throwing up and the next morning was “out of it,” police said. Allen said he didn’t seek medical attention for the girl, but called Adams to tell her Barbara was sick.
Prosecutors alleged that Allen initially told them Barbara was injured after she knocked over four stacked wooden kitchen chairs while leaning against them to get up after a fall. The accident happened after Allen forced the child to walk on her broken leg to dispose of her dirty diaper because he was “mad at her mother,” according to his probable cause affidavit.
Allen later told police that he “snapped” while trying to change Barbara’s diaper, and forced the child to walk across the kitchen to put the soiled diaper in a trash can, even though her leg was in a cast from the earlier break. Allen then admitted that he kicked the little girl in the head while he was wearing heavy boots, causing her to begin having seizures.
When Adams returned home and found her daughter unconscious, she took her to St. Mary Medical Center, where doctors determined she had serious internal bleeding in her skull that required emergency surgery. There also was evidence of blunt force trauma to her head, a cut on her top lip, and other injures consistent with child abuse, police said.
Barbara was transferred to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, where she died from the head trauma.
Bensalem police say Adams has cooperated with their investigation into Barbara’s death and the prosecution of Allen. Her two other children don’t appear to have been physically abused. Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services removed the girls, who are in the custody of their grandmother.
Last week, Allen — also a Bristol Township resident — pleaded guilty in Bucks County Court to third-degree murder and child endangerment, and no-contest to first-degree murder in Barbara’s death. He will serve life in prison under the plea agreement, which took the death penalty off the table.
At his court appearance, Allen apologized to Adams, who was in the courtroom audience.
“There’s obviously nothing I can say or do to change what happened, but I truly am sorry from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “I hope what happens today brings you some kind of closure, brings some kind of peace. Oh, Nakia, I’m so sorry.”