Two people involved in a chilling case of child abuse in Ohio County appeared in court on Friday morning.
Sabrina Hall, 18, and Apollo Rice, 27, of Wheeling appeared in front of Judge James Mazzone for connections to a child abuse case that some officials at the Magistrate office are calling the worst they’ve ever seen.
According to prosecutors, the State has medical and investigation documentation regarding duct tape placed over the two-year-old child’s nose and mouth, forcing the child underwater in the bathtub, throwing the child by the wrist onto the wood floor, broken bones, head and face contusions, and more, all inflicted by Rice.
Hall reportedly neglected to report these incidents to authorities.
“Apollo did hurt my son, and I didn’t get any help because I was scared,” Hall said inside the courtroom when asked to describe what happened.
Hall entered a guilty plea agreement in four counts of child neglect resulting in injury and three counts of child neglect creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
According to Judge Mazzone, each of these felony counts carries no less than one year and no more than three years in the State Penitentiary. Hall pleaded guilty to seven felony counts, and therefore faces no less than seven years, and no more than 27 years behind bars.
Additionally, Hall must register as a child abuser with the state police in the future.
She will be sentenced at a later date, and remains in state custody.
Rice appeared in court on a plea agreement after being indicted on 10 counts of serious child abuse and neglect.
Rice was found guilty of all 10 counts. Counts 1 and 2 involve child abuse resulting in serious injury, counts 3-6 involve child abuse resulting in injury, and counts 7-10 involve child abuse creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
Judge Mazzone proceeded with sentencing for Rice, sentencing him to no less than 12-years, and no more than 60 years in prison.
Rice will also be fined $2,400, must pay court costs, and will have to register with the child abuser registry for 10 years after release from the state department of corrections.
The original criminal complaint showed that the two-year-old victim had facial contusions and swelling, a broken leg, a broken arm, and a ligature mark around the ankle.
The complaint said that, along with the other reports of abuse, Hall told officials she witnessed Rice put hot sauce in the child’s nose and mouth using a syringe.
The child is currently in state custody, and is reportedly doing very well.
Stay with 7News for updates.