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Couple accused of permitting abuse enter not guilty pleas

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NASHVILLE – An Oklahoma couple charged with permitting the abuse of a minor entered not guilty pleas to the allegations Wednesday in Howard County Circuit Court.
Thad and Danita Keith, of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, were ordered to return to court Aug. 5 to face the charges, which stem from an investigation that began almost two years ago, when the minor in question was transported to Arkansas Children’s Hospital with a head injury. Court documents indicate that hospital staff subsequently contacted the state’s child abuse hotline regarding the injuries, and the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division opened an investigation into the report along with then-county investigator John Eric Glidewell.
Both suspects were interviewed by ASP investigators, but “the results of both of these interviews lacked sufficient information that would lead investigators to the cause of the injuries to the child,” according to the affidavit of arrest attached to the Keiths’ case file.
“Thad Keith had been home for dinner a short time prior to Danita Keith finding the child sitting in the floor and then falling over and then suffering from an apparent seizure,” police wrote in the report. “The only other person present when this discovery was made, was another small child. There had been no other persons at the house that day. The child was in a bedroom at the time of this discovery and the bedroom door had been closed. Neither Thad or Danita could provide any explanation for the injuries caused to the child.”
The affidavit further alleges that the attending physician at the hospital, Dr. Rachel Clingenpeel, “stated that an injury of this type is highly unusual in young children and when it is seen, it is in high force mechanisms, like car accidents.”
“She said that this is not something that occurred after a minor household fall,” police wrote in the report. “Dr. Clingenpeel concluded by saying that because there was no history of trauma that would adequately explain this injury, the injury revealed that this child had [been physically] abused.”
Both suspects are currently out of jail on $25,000 bonds.