STILLWATER – A pair of Stillwater parents are being charged with child neglect after a DHS worker alleged that a premature infant was not properly being cared for. Alexus Anne Cook and Chad Austin Jackman were each charged with one count of neglect, a felony, in Payne County District Court late last week.
According to the probable cause affidavit, a DHS case worker in October contacted the Stillwater Police Department regarding the medical neglect of an infant that had been born in July. According to the case worker, the parents had received training at the hospital for an infant apnea monitor that the child was requested to wear.
During the investigation, Stillwater Police Department interviewed a nurse at St. Francis who went over discharge paperwork with Cook and Jackman. The affidavit claims that the parents were told of follow-up appointments and that the parents had to be seen attaching the apnea monitor before discharge. The child was discharged in September 2018.
In a September visit from DHS to the infant’s home, the DHS agent said that the child was observed not wearing the monitor. When asked about follow-up doctor visits, Jackman said the child did not need to see a doctor until four-month immunization shots were due. The DHS worker said the child was supposed to go see a physical within two days of discharge.
During an October visit, a physician from Stillwater Pediatrics reported that Jackman told the physician that the apnea device was broken, and it was reported that the child was being fed 1 ounce of formula every three hours. The doctor wrote in a report that babies “during their first month of life typically increases from 1-2 ounces every three hours to 3-4 ounces every three hours due to rapid growth at that stage of a baby’s life. ” A follow-up appointment was canceled by Cook, according to the doctor. The doctor reporting about taking the child off the apnea device wrote that “death could have been a foreseeable outcome of this decision if the apnea had started getting more severe as WJ started to outgrow dosage.” DHS petitioned the court and won custody of the child.
After custody was granted, DHS brought the child to the doctor for an exam, where it was found that there was a “hair tourniquet” around one of the child’s toes. According to the report, “the hair was wrapped so tightly it caused a laceration around the toe.” The doctor also reported observing that the child’s tongue-tie had been ripped, and that it was intact in an earlier exam. They also observed that the child had a 10-second apnea event during its visit.
SPD later interviewed Jackman, who according to the affidavit told police he had tried to call the company about the apnea device being broken. According to SPD, the technicians said they had received no such call, and if they would have been able to troubleshoot the problem over the phone, they would have delivered a new device in person. An employee said a system check on the device was performed, and even though the machine was broken, it still would have detected an apnea event and provided an audible alert.
Warrants were issued for Cook and Jackman on March 8. Jackman appeared in court on March 11. He was remanded to Payne County Jail and arraignment was set for March 12.