WEST MILFORD, W.Va. — A West Milford couple has been charged after they allegedly struck a juvenile multiple times during an incident in Harrison County.
On Sept. 5, troopers with the Harrison County detachment of the West Virginia State Police were dispatched to a residence in West Milford in reference to a “domestic violence situation involving a juvenile,” according to a criminal complaint.
When troopers spoke to the juvenile, he said that Jessie Helmick, 46, of West Union, had “gripped [his] arms forcefully enough to cause bruising,” during an argument, troopers said.
The juvenile also stated that Jessie “struck him in the face causing a cut on the inside of his lip,” and that she “scratched him on the back of the neck,” according to the complaint.
During that same incident, Mason Helmick, 41, of West Union, “struck [the boy] several times in the back of the head,” and both Mason and Jessie told the juvenile to leave the residence and that “they would have him emancipated on Tuesday,” troopers said.
Troopers could see the bruises on the juvenile’s arms and “fingernail scratch marks” on the back of his neck, as well as a cut to the inside of his upper lip, according to the complaint.
The boy then told troopers that he went to the community center before seeking shelter with another individual; when CPS and troopers went to Jessie and Mason’s address, they were not there, troopers said.
Later, troopers received a post-Miranda statement, during which time Jessie stated “that she ‘popped’ [the boy] in the mouth and scratched [his] neck” during the incident, according to the complaint.
During the same interview, Mason told troopers that “he was in bed during the altercation,” and watched Jessie strike the child before he “restrained [the boy].” Mason said “he may have struck [the boy] in the head while restraining him, but insists it would have been an accident,” troopers said.
Jessie and Mason have been charged with child abuse resulting in injury, child neglect creating risk of injury and conspiracy to commit a felony. They are both out on bond.