POMEROY – A jury handed down a not guilty verdict Wednesday in the case against a Meigs County man who had been charged with felonious assault and endangering children.
Thaddeus Bumgardner, 32, of Middleport, was acquitted of the charges after a six-day trial that began June 28 —more than two years after the alleged incident. The trial endured delays due to the Fourth of July holiday and a witness under a doctor’s care, who was not allowed in court to testify until July 5.
Meigs County sheriff’s deputies first began the investigation in June 2014 when Bumgardner’s 5-month-old son was flown to Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, W.Va., “due to severe bruising and injuries consistent with abuse,” a news release from the sheriff’s office stated.
According to earlier reports, a search was conducted on Bumgardner’s home after the child was taken to the hospital.
“No one in the house reported the injuries,” Sheriff Keith Wood said.
Bumgardner was arraigned in Meigs County Court on June 25, 2014, for alleged felonious assault and was granted release on his own recognizance, against the recommendation of the Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.
After the investigation into the incident was completed, Bumgardner was indicted in Meigs County Common Pleas Court on July 24, 2014, on one count of felonious assault and two counts of endangering children. The assault charge and one of the endangering children charges are second-degree felonies. The other endangering charge is a third-degree felony.
Bond was set at $500,000 with 10 percent allowed; he posted bond the following day and was released.
The child, now 2, survived; however, he suffers from serious health conditions, including an almost complete loss of vision, seizures and delayed development, according to the Meigs County Victims Assistance’s Office.
The prosecutor presented photographic and expert testimony of the child’s trauma, as well of a timeline of persons involved in the child’s care when the incident occurred.
The defense countered there was not enough evidence to prove the defendant was responsible for the injuries and that no witnesses to the infliction of the injuries were presented.
Wednesday’s verdict clears Bumgardner on all charges.
Reach Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155, Ext. 2551.