Abney case heading to higher court

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Justice: Lengthy testimony in child abuse hearing

By Whitney Jones

The case of alleged child abuser Tyrell Abney is heading to District Court.

That decision came after Los Alamos County Magistrate Court Judge Pat Casados heard nearly three hours of testimony from Detective Brian Schamber and others related to the case. Abney is charged with child abuse resulting in great bodily harm – a first-degree felony.

After hearing the testimony, Casados took a brief recess and returned to court to announce that Abney’s case would be bound over to District Court. Casados also reduced Abney’s bail to $50,000 cash or surety bond. He’s still being held at the Los Alamos Detention Center. If he’s found guilty Abney could face up to 18 years in prison.

Should he be released, he’s to report daily to the adult probation officer, maintain contact with his attorney, not consume alcohol or drugs or enter an establishment that serves alcohol, and have no contact with the victim. Casados also ordered Abney to not discuss the case with anyone.

The charge stems from a May incident during which Nicole Allison — who had left the baby in the care of Abney, her fiancé — called dispatch after receiving a call from Abney stating that he allegedly dropped their 11-week-old son at their Los Alamos apartment, an arrest affidavit states.

But according to the affidavit, doctors at the Los Alamos Medical Center or the University of New Mexico Hospital weren’t convinced the child’s injuries were consistent with a fall.

The affidavit states that Los Alamos Police Detective Paige Early overheard an emergency room doctor say that there “looks like there is a contusion” — or bruise on the child. It states Early also saw at least three other areas on the baby’s head and face where there were visible injuries and overheard the child’s pediatrician state that the injuries “did not look like it came from a fall.”

The affidavit further states that Abney allegedly admitted to hitting the baby on the side of the head. In testimony, Schamber reiterated in his interview with Abney that the defendant admitted striking the baby with an open hand.

Schamber testified he asked Abney many times if he shook the baby and each time the defendant said no.
No plea has been entered in the case according to an online courts database.

The child has been the in the custody of Child Youth and Families Department since May 31, according to a May 31 blog post by Nicole Allison.

And according to a May 29 blog entry, “the Los Alamos police department has OKd taking my son from me and put him in Child Protective Custody.”

That information could not be confirmed as CFYD Spokesman Enrique Knell could not be reached for comment.

Allison defended Abney in an online petition stating that the incident was an accident and that Abney would never hurt their son, but that “child protective services have told me that if I support him they will try to take the baby away, but they can’t scare me into submission on something I know is not right.”

During closing arguments, district attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco argued that the baby did not cause the injuries to himself and that the baby was in the defendant’s care.

Abney’s lawyer, Thomas Clark, of Santa Fe, said this was a case of the state overreaching. He said the incident was not child abuse, it was an accident.