Okmulgee County Father Admits Hurting Toddler Son, Authorities Say
OKMULGEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - A father is behind bars after investigators say he admitted to slamming his one-year-old son down onto the ground so hard he broke bones in his leg and skull.
Investigators say the baby's injuries are bad, but they say what's even worse is he laid in his crib for 12 hours before anyone got him help.
Children's toys sit unmoved in front of the Okmulgee County home where investigators say Marcus Hetherington admitted to slamming his one-year-old son onto the ground so hard that it put the child in a body cast.
“I think it's hard for anybody seeing a child that gets injured,” said investigator Duston Todd. “It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, it's a little difficult.”
According to this arrest warrant, medical personnel at Hillcrest hospital in Tulsa described the child's femur bone as "snapped in half.”
They also noted a skull fracture at the back of the child's head, along with "a large unexplained bruise in the middle of his forehead, a bite mark on his face, signs of strangulation on his neck and a bruise behind his ear."
The document says Hetherington admitted to causing the injuries during bath time and then put the child to bed.
The affidavit says it wasn't until the child's mother came home from work and got the little boy out of bed the next morning that she noticed the injuries and took him to the hospital.
Investigators estimate the child laid injured in his crib "close to 12 hours’ before he was taken for care.
"It appeared he got agitated with the child,” said Todd. “Child was fussy, and being upset, I think the temper kind of got the best of him."
While at the hospital, investigators say Hetherington lied about how his son got hurt, changing his story multiple times.
Todd says the details of the abuse didn't come to light until Hetherington took a lie detector test.
“After several different interviews, he finally confessed after a polygraph exam,” said Todd.
Court records show Hetherington has a history of drug convictions and admitted to relapsing on meth around the time of the incident.
This document shows Hetherington tested positive for meth and marijuana a week after the abuse.
Prosecutors are hoping to send him back to prison because he violated his parole.
The one-year-old and the other children in the home have been placed in protective custody.