Suspect in toddler-injury case pleads not guilty, set for pre-trial conference

Local News

A 37-year-old Davenport suspect in the case of a toddler injured multiple times is scheduled for a pretrial conference after pleading not guilty.

Justin Perkins pleaded not guilty Dec. 23, according to Scott County Court documents. Local 4 News learned Thursday that he is scheduled for a pretrial conference March 12 in Scott County Court.

Julie Walton, assistant county attorney of Scott County, accuses Justin Perkins and Taylor Moss of child endangerment – multiple acts and willful injury causing serious injury – court documents say.

The state will seek to have Perkins sentenced as a habitual offender if he is convicted of a Class C and/or Class D felony, court records show. He also has prior convictions of solicitation to commit felony Aug. 3, 2000 and assault while participating in a felony and willful injury causing bodily injury on June 19, 2007.

The history

Perkins was released on bond from Scott County Jail in November after he was arrested on a warrant served in connection with a toddler who suffered severe injuries multiple times.

On July 12, Davenport Police Department began an investigation involving an unresponsive 2-year-old boy at a Genesis Medical Center, the arrest affidavit says.

The boy was diagnosed with a perforated bowel and also had rib fractures of varying ages.

The child was transferred to the University of Iowa Hospitals because of the severity of his injuries and was not discharged until Aug. 4.

Perkins admitted he and 25-year-old Taylor Moss, also charged in connection with the case, were the only caretakers for the boy since March. Perkins said he had no knowledge as to how the injuries occurred to the child.

Taylor Moss

The type of internal injury the toddler suffered is caused “by high-energy bursting forces or direct blows to the abdomen,” the arrest document says.

The child had new rib fractures to the seventh and eighth ribs when he was taken to Genesis. He had partially healed rib fractures to the 10th and 11th ribs on the right side and partially healed rib fractures on the ninth, 10th and 11th on the left side.

The boy had two rib fractures that were completely healed on the eighth and ninth ribs on the left side. Because of three different healing stages of rib fractures, “there would have been three different intentional assaults inflicted upon the child causing multiple serious injuries within the time span of four to six weeks.”

The other suspect

The arrest affidavit for Moss says she gave the child a bath “and she believed he had inhaled some water.” The toddler began to throw up and became motionless.

Moss said she thought he was dying and instead of calling 911 placed him in an ice bath to try to have him regain consciousness. Moss eventually called 911 after her boyfriend’s mother told her to.

Moss is set for arraignment at 11 a.m. Jan. 14 in Scott County Court.

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