Kenansville couple charged with child abuse


A Duplin County Sheriff’s Office investigation resulted in the arrest of a Kenansville area couple, accused of felony child abuse.

Authorities said they received a report Feb. 15 from the Department of Social Services that a 7-week-old male infant had been transported by his parents to Vidant Duplin Hospital.

Upon arrival at the hospital, medical staff told deputies they noticed injuries to the child that could not be explained by the parents.

Detectives reported the infant suffered from multiple severe injuries including bone fractures, head trauma and extensive bruising about his body.

Investigators quickly identified the infants’ parents — 19-year-old Janasia Hutcherson and 18-year-old Malik Hall ­— as suspects in the case. Their inquiry excluded any other person as having caused the injuries to the infant, deputies say, but neither parent admitted to causing the injuries either intentionally or accidentally.

Authorities charged Hutcherson and Hall with one count of felony child abuse and placed each under $100,000 bonds in the Duplin County Jail.

The investigation is ongoing.


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