Four arrested on child abuse charges
RED BAY – Four Red Bay residents were arrested on Thursday after they were indicted by a recent grand jury for allegedly leaving a two-year-old child tied to a chair for several hours.
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said the following people were indicted in connection with the case:
Jannis O. Strawbridge, 57, 305 10th Ave. NE, Red Bay, was indicted on one count of aggravated child abuse and an alternate count of child abuse, both of which are felony charges.
Larry Franklin Strawbridge, 65, 305 10th Ave. NE, Red Bay, was indicted on one count of aggravated child abuse and an alternate count of child abuse.
Adam Etall Porter, 30, 305 10th Ave. NE, Red Bay, was indicted on one count of aggravated child abuse and an alternate count of child abuse.
Etta Kay Porter, 22, 305 10th Ave. NE, Red Bay, was indicted on one count of endangering the welfare of a child, which is a misdemeanor charge.
According to Red Bay Police investigator Rodney Belue, officers responded to the residence at 305 10th Ave. NE on Aug. 27 on a domestic matter.
Belue said once officers arrived, they realized the matter was actually a civil matter.
“We were told that Jannis Strawbridge was attempting to have Etta Porter barred from living at the residence, which is not something the police department handles,” Belue said.
“While we were at the home trying to sort through the situation, Jannis Strawbridge takes out a cell phone and tells me she wants to show me a picture.”
Belue said Jannis Strawbridge revealed a picture of a two-year-old female child belonging to Etta Porter who was apparently tied to a chair with duct tape over her mouth.
“Once I saw the picture, we immediately found out where the child was and had the child taken into DHR custody,” Belue said.
“We then began investigating the situation but no one in the home was admitting to tying the child up and putting duct tape on her mouth.”
Belue said they took several statements, one of which indicated the child had allegedly been tied to the chair with duct tape covering her mouth for at least three hours.
“Besides this rough estimate, we never could determine exactly how long the child was like this because everyone who lived in the home was giving a conflicting story,” he said.
After consulting with the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office, Belue said all information and evidence gathered in the case was presented to the September grand jury to determine if enough information was present to make an arrest in the case.
“Even though no one was admitting to actually tying the child up, not one single person in that house made an attempt to free the child,” Belue said.
“Obviously the grand jury thought the people in that house should be held responsible for not helping the little girl while she was in their care.”
For their felony charges, Jannis Strawbridge, Larry Strawbridge and Adam Porter remain in custody at the Franklin County Jail on bonds of $100,000 each.
Etta Porter is in custody on a $2,500 bond for her misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child.