Woman charged with abuse in Bell Co.

By Reina P. Cunningham - [email protected]

Brandi Howerton

A Pineville woman was arrested on Tuesday afternoon by Bell County Deputy Micheal Bradley for charges stemming from an anonymous tip.

According to authorities, at approximately 2:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, Deputies Michael Bradley and Nick Capps, along with a female Social Services officer, were called to Ferndale apartments in regard to a child welfare check.

The release says that once authorities arrived at the residence, the social services worker knocked on the door but no one answered. Bradley stated that children were heard in the residence and the blinds were closed from inside the apartment. The deputies and social worker then went to the back of the apartment to find the door cracked. While identifying themselves, a neighbor that lives behind the apartment approached the deputies to inform them she witnessed a child being thrown around and bleeding the night before.

According to police, at that point they determined exigent circumstances of possible child endangerment were presented and they entered the residence.

Police reported an overwhelming odor of urine and fecal matter in the apartment was evident upon entering and they were met by the mother of two young children, Brandi Howerton, coming downstairs from the second floor. The children, later determined to be a 2-year-old boy and 5-year-old girl, were found to be soiled and had black marker drawings on their bodies.

Police say Howerton gave consent to search the residence and the deputies and social worker discovered garbage and dishes piled up along with spoiled food throughout the first floor. They also say they found the bathroom commode not flushed and Howerton said that the water had been turned off for several days and she was in the process of being evicted.

According to the report, the deputies then made their way to the second floor to find the upstairs bathroom overflowing with fecal matter. In one of two bedrooms they discovered syringes and a foldable knife locked open on the floor. In Howerton’s bedroom they found more syringes and a small metal container with crystal residue believed to be methamphetamine. Also found was a cellophane wrapper with crystal residue believed to be methamphetamine, that was purposely concealed, according to the report.

Police say Howerton later admitted to using meth.

The report says that per Social Services, a relative of Howerton’s was contacted to take the children from the apartment.

Howerton, 26, was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal abuse of a child under the age of 12, two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, tampering with physical evidence and drug paraphernalia.

Howerton was arraigned on Wednesday and is being held on a $10,000 full cash bond. She is due back in court on Jan. 5.

Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-302-9091 or on Twitter @ReinaDailyNews.

Brandi Howerton
http://harlandaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_Brandi-Howerton-new.jpgBrandi Howerton

By Reina P. Cunningham

[email protected]

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