Muskogee Child Abuse Investigation

Tuesday, November 14th 2006, 8:40 pm
By: News On 6

A 5-month-old baby boy is in serious condition at a Tulsa hospital and his aunt has been arraigned on one count of felony child abuse.

News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims found this is not the first time the family has been involved with the system.

"It’s a horrible deal, I mean it’s a beautiful little baby and it’s heart wrenching," said Officer Kris Ledford of the Muskogee police.

A 5-month-old baby boy is in a medically induced coma with retinal hemorrhaging, and bleeding from his brain. His aunt, LaTonya Whitelaw, is behind bars.

The 21-year-old was watching her sister's kids at her Muskogee apartment Sunday night, police said. Authorities say Whitelaw told them she shook the baby, because he was crying.

"It’s hard to believe anybody would shake an infant anyway, it tears at your heart," Officer Ledford said.

The Muskogee County District Attorney's office says Whitelaw was arraigned on one county of felony child abuse Tuesday. They say this is not the first time this family has had contact with the system.

Whitelaw's sister is Angela Warren. She's the mother of the injured baby. A court clerk says Warren had her parental rights terminated in 2003, after one of her young children died.

DHS refused to comment on the family's history. But the court clerk told the News on 6, a judge told Warren not to have her kids around Whitelaw.

"From some potential prior DHS involvement, Ms. Whitelaw was not supposed to be around those kids and especially not supposed to be babysitting," said Officer Ledford.

Muskogee County is now in the process of terminating Warren's parental rights for her other children.

The News on 6 called Angela Warren Tuesday evening, a family member said she wasn't ready to talk.