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Local man placed on rider after baby found with severe injuries

Mekenzee Grant | Fremont County Jail
EDITOR’s NOTE:The following story contains graphic details regarding an abused child. Reader discretion is advised.
ST. ANTHONY — A Fremont County man will spend up to a year in prison treatment programs after investigators found a severely injured 4-month-old boy.
Mekenzee Grant, 27, pleaded guilty to felony injury to a child and on Dec. 22, District Judge Steven Boyce sent him on a rider program. Fremont County Prosecutor Marcia Murdoch had signed an agreement with Grant that if he pleaded guilty, she would recommend he be placed on a rider.
A rider or retained jurisdiction is when a judge sends a person to prison for up to a year to undergo different treatment programs. When the inmate has completed the program, the judge can then decide to send them back to prison or release them on probation.
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With the sentence, Boyce gave an underlying sentence of three to eight years of prison if Grant is not successful on the rider. At sentencing, Grant was already in the Bonneville County Jail serving time for a theft case. The new sentence matches up with and will run concurrently with the theft case.
In August, Fremont County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a camper trailer in Teton where the young boy lived. Deputies were asked to perform a welfare check and found concerning signs of abuse, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The boy had bruises on his chest and neck, scrapes on his head, and red marks all over his back. Deputies also noticed the 4-month-old boy had piercings in his ears.
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Further investigation showed the child had broken ribs.
The boy lived with Lindsey Slagle, 20, and Grant, and investigators could not at first get a clear story about how the abuse occurred. Both were taken to the Fremont County Jail and questioned.
When initially asked what happened, Slagle said the injuries occurred while family members watched the boy in Idaho Falls.
“(Grant) stated he did not know how the injuries got there but stated Slagle will blame it all on him,” court documents read. “He stated that Slagle always blames other people to get herself out of trouble.”
According to court documents, Grant told investigators he and Slagle had pierced the baby’s ears on their own with earrings they had in the trailer. When asked, Grant reportedly said he didn’t think it was a big deal since “males get their ears pierced all the time.”
Grant said the boy allegedly fell from a seat, which caused the injuries.
Later, when investigators spoke with Slagle again, a different story emerged. Slagle told investigators that Grant has a history of abusing children.
Slagle said the night before, the baby started to cry. She said Grant grabbed the baby by the throat and began to “choke him out.” She said Grant would push the baby’s face into the blankets, and the bruising came from Grant squeezing the boy as hard as he could. The abrasion on the boy’s head allegedly came from him scooting across the carpet.
When asked why she did not call 911, Slagle reportedly told deputies she did not have a phone, and Grant would not let her use his.
When talking about the piercings, Slagle said Grant held the boy on the table in the camper, removed his own earrings and put them into the baby’s ears. Slagle said she allegedly tried to talk him out of it.
Slagle has pleaded not guilty to felony attempted injury to a child after prosecutors allege she did not stop Grant from abusing the boy. She is scheduled for a jury trial on April 8.
In addition to the sentence, Boyce ordered Grant to pay $1,745.50 in fees and fines, court records show.
The post Local man placed on rider after baby found with severe injuries appeared first on East Idaho News.

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