|John Ross Albert|
A twenty year-old man from Springfield is behind bars on a quarter million dollars bond for allegedly beating his girlfriends two-and-a-half year-old son so badly that the child may not live.
Prosecutors have charged John Ross Albert with first degree assault and felony child abuse at this point - but those charged could be upgraded if the child dies.
According to the probable cause statement, the boy's mother told authorities that when she left for work shortly before 8 a.m. on June 29th the little boy seemed tired, but "was acting like a kid would act." A short time later she received a call from Albert stating that the boy was ill and she needed to come home.
When she got home the little boy was vomiting, had chapped lips, and "was not acting right," and she and Albert took the toddler to Cox North hospital, according to court records.
At Cox North it was determined that he toddler had suffered numerous internal injuries as well as broken ribs and was flown to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Doctors there had to remove a significant portion of the little boy's colon. He also suffered lacerations to the pancreas and had had several broken ribs in various stages of healing as well as bruises on his back and sternum..
The boy's mother told Kansas City detectives that Albert had taken care of the boy the day before. She told them the boy acted normal when she returned from work about 4:30 p.m. on June 28th but didn't want anything to eat. He told his mom he had a stomach ache and needed to use the bathroom and his bowels felt hard, according to the probable cause statement.
Doctor's treating the boy say his injuries were caused by acute blunt force trauma and probably had not occurred that day but within the previous 24 hours.
On June 30th Albert told Springfield police Corporal Eric Reece that he had been the primary caregiver during the week of the little boy for several months. According to court documents, Albert and the boy's mother use a recliner in the little boy's bedroom for timeout.
Albert said he picked the little boy up by his abdomen, "squeezed him ' and threw him at least seven times into the timeout chair ( from distances between 5 - 8 feet) for taking diapers out of his diaper bag.
Albert stated that the last time he threw the little boy, he sat in the chair and didn't say anything and when he would squeeze his abdomen he would grunt and make facial gestures like it was hurting him.
Albert told Reece that the boy's mom told him that since he had been taking care of the boy, "He wasn't acting normal and would just sit on the couch and not talk unless Albert told him to talk or move."
Albert said that he was just "trying to be a father figure" to the boy. He also claims that he would hug the little boy tightly and that could be the reason for the rib fractures that were in various stages of healing.
When confronted with the severity of the little boy's injures Albert denied hitting, kicking, or punching the little boy and then invoked his right to remain silent.