Tennessee Couple Charged With Child Abuse In Oklahoma

Thursday, July 12th 2007, 3:48 pm
By: News On 6

SALLISAW, Okla. (AP) _ A Tennessee couple faces child abuse charges after Sallisaw police officers found their 7-week-old daughter lying next to their car on an Interstate 40 exit ramp. Sequoyah County prosecutors Wednesday charged Lancing, Tennessee, residents Kenneth and Ashley Cleek with child abuse. A charge of child neglect was filed against Ashley Cleek and a public intoxication count was filed against Kenneth Cleek.

Authorities say the parents were inside the car when the officers found the baby on the ground outside. Ashley Cleek was asleep at the wheel and Kenneth Cleek was in the back seat passed out.

An 18-month-old boy was also found inside the car.

Assistant District Attorney Jeff Jones says the infant had abrasions and bruises on her elbow and knee. He says there also was a swollen area on her head.

Jones says the infant was diagnosed with a bilateral skull fracture at a Tulsa hospital. He says both children were taken into protective custody.

The Cleeks are free on $5,000 bail each.

They are to return to court August 20th for a preliminary hearing.