Bartlesville Man Charged With Abusing Infant Twin Sons

Tuesday, December 14th 2010, 3:44 pm
By: News On 6 & Chris Wright, News On 6

BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma -- A 20-year-old Bartlesville man is in the Washington County jail charged with two counts of child abuse.

Bartlesville Police say Chester Cooper was arrested after a pair of two-month-old twin boys required medical treatment Monday evening. One of the boys was flown by medical helicopter to a Tulsa hospital after an examination at the Bartlesville hospital revealed he had several skull fractures and bleeding in the brain.

According to a probable arrest affidavit, Cooper admitted during police questioning to the use of force on both boys. Police also questioned the boy's mother, Kimberly Witte.

The affidavit said the incident occurred in a home in the 1600 block of South Oak. 

Chris Wright, News On 6: "Tough to hear about this stuff as a mom?"

Vanessa Giddens, Bartlesville resident: "Yeah it is. Especially seeing the kids faces and everything. It surprises me how someone can do that to their own child."

"I just can't understand people doing something like this," said Alfred Highfield, a Bartlesville resident. "It's gotta be dope or something."

Just last week, Bartlesville resident Joshua Benton was charged with murdering three-year-old Christian Norris. Investigators say a lower back fracture caused by blunt force trauma killed the boy. Benton is the mother's live-in boyfriend.

12/10/2010 Related Story: Affidavit Reveals Painful Last Moments In Bartlesville Boy's Life

Last month, the death a new-born rattled veteran officers and gained national attention. Ten-day-old Maggie May was found dead in a washing machine in a Bartlesville apartment. Her mother, Lyndsey Fiddler, is charged with the crime. Court records show she had meth in her system.

12/1/2010 Related Story: DHS Defends Investigation Of Bartlesville Mother Charged In Baby's Death

"We want this evil to stop," Bartlesville Police Chief Tom Holland said.

Bartlesville police Chief Tom Holland says this string of crimes against children is a first for the city of 36,000.

"It's taken its toll on the community, on the police. We're fathers and grandfathers here, and it's a tough run right now," he said.

Because all of these incidents are unrelated, police say there's little they can do besides hope it does not happen again.

"People ask me 'what's going on in Bartlesville?" Chief Holland said. "I've got 36,000 law-abiding citizens asking me the same thing. I wish there was a button I could push that would turn this off."

During a court hearing Tuesday, Cooper's bond was set at $500,000.