By Sarah Mansheim
A Bellburn woman accused of killing a child in her care has been granted bond and readmitted to the home incarceration program.
April Fox, 36, was released on bond last Monday, July 6, and immediately remanded to Seneca Health Services for a mental health evaluation before being allowed to go home. She was indicted by a Greenbrier County grand jury in June on a charge of child abuse resulting in death. She is accused of beating and withholding food and water from a six-year-old child who died as a result of the abuse, which allegedly took place in January and February of this year. The child died on Feb. 10 from blunt force trauma, malnutrition and electrolyte derangement.
Fox had obtained the child through an arrangement with the child’s grandfather, with whom she was in a relationship. The grandfather of the victim did not live with Fox and has not been charged. Two weeks after the child’s death, Fox and the grandfather married.
Fox’s bond had been revoked after she tested positive for oxycontin in a drug screen. Her attorney, J. Steven Hunter, told the court she has fibromyalgia and has been without her medications while incarcerated as he pled for the court to reinstate her bond.
Greenbrier County Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Dent, who was moving to revoke Fox’s bond altogether, told the court that in addition to failing drug tests, Fox had been reported as suicidal. Dent also told the court that threats to witnesses have been made on Fox’s behalf.
Hunter denied the threats, and told the court that his client was not “suicidal today.”
Greenbrier County Circuit Judge James J. Rowe expressed concern that Fox would be going home while under possible mental duress, and said he would not release Fox from jail without the assurance that she would immediately go under the care of Seneca Health Services for an evaluation.
Hunter then made arrangements with Seneca Health Services that Fox would be taken there directly from the courthouse.
Rowe approved the arrangement and reinstated her bond, placing Fox on home confinement. Further, he ordered Fox to only take medication prescribed to her and forbade her from any contact with the witnesses in her case.
A pretrial court date has been set for Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. Fox’s trial is set for Sept. 16.
By Sarah Mansheim
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