VERNON PARISH, LA– Three people in Vernon Parish have been placed behind bars and a seven-year-old girl is being treated for injuries.
Allen Clayton Fulks, 20 years old of Rosepine, Dakota Wayne Singletary, 22 years old of Lake Charles, and Stacy Lynn Tharpe, 29 years old of Rosepine are all being charged with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.
Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office (VPSO) posted on Facebook about the case, saying:
“One of the worst, if not the worst case of child abuse that has occurred in Vernon Parish.”
According to brproud, Fulks and Singletary are being charged with severely beating the child and Tharp is being charged with witnessing them do it and then attempting to conceal the girls whereabouts by leaving her unattended.
Sheriff in Louisiana: 3 jailed and charged with child abuse in one of the “worst cases” ever https://t.co/pJVdNAE7nL
— JJ (@JJMiller215) July 13, 2020
Detectives discovered the young girl and her deplorable condition through various incidents that led them to her, where they found her alive, but severely injured.
Here is what led them to her:
Just before 9:30 p.m. on July 6th, Rosepine Police Officer Robert Green and Louisiana State Trooper Peter Smith responded to a vehicle accident on Lockhart Cutoff Road in the Rosepine area. When they arrived, the officers found Singletary and Fulks inside the vehicle with minor injuries.
As both officers were investigating the scene, Tharp arrived with her children. Due to Rosepine being a pretty small town, Officer Green knew that Tharp was caring for an additional child, who was not with her.
Green questioned Tharp about the additional child and she indicated that the child’s mother had her. However, a witness at the scene advised the officers that the young girl was still in Tharp’s care.
Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office announces the July 7th arrests of Allen Clayton Fulks, age 20,of…
This prompted Officer Green and Trooper Smith to go over to Tharp’s home, where they found the young girl suffering from severe bruising and eyes practically swollen shut. The young girl was clearly suffering from an extensive beating.
VSPO Detective David Vance was contacted. He responded to the scene and immediately began an investigation, learning that the young girl’s mom had left her in Tharp’s care back in February. She has since not returned.
The young girl was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where an examination showed “significant and acute bruising” over her entire body.
The young girl said Singletary and Fulks had repeatedly beaten her with their fists and choked her until she lost consciousness and that her hair had been cut off.
Sheriff Craft said the little girl told the deputies:
“She was tired and couldn’t take the abuse any longer.”
After Singletary and Fulks were treated for their injuries from the car accident, they were taken to the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office where they were questioned by Detective Vance regarding the young girls injuries.
During the course of the conversation with Vance, both men admitted to abusing the child.
Singletary and Fulks were arrested and each charged with three counts of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. They are both being held at the Vernon Parish Jail on a $450,000 bond each set by District Judge Tony Bennett.
The day after, Vance conducted an interview with Tharp, who admitted to witnessing the child being abused.
Since she failed to report the abuse and attempted to hide the child and left her home alone, Tharp was arrested and charged with one count of principal to second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. She is being held at the Vernon Parish jail on a $300,000 bond.
Detectives have not been able to locate the young girls mother that dropped her with Tharp months ago, but they were able to locate the biological father and are now working jointly with a social worker from the Department of Child and Family Services on the case.
The young girl continues to undergo medical treatment for the multiple injuries she sustained. Sheriff Craft thanked Rosepine Police Department Officer Green, Louisiana State Trooper Peter Smith, and Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective David Vance for their diligence and hard work in the rescue of this young girl.
According to the American Press, Sheriff Craft said:
“Investigators firmly believe this child would have become a tragic statistic if not for the efforts of these officers.”
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In another recent case, Law Enforcement Today told you about a mother in New York stabbing her six-year-old son. Here’s that story again.
After stabbing her six year old son repeatedly Zakiyyah M. Wolfford receives five years of probation. The sentencing comes after Wolfford pled guilty to second-degree attempted assault.
Wolfford visited Erie County Medical Center on October 8, 2019 after exhibited strange behavior in front of her home. She was released the same evening and returned home. The following morning at around 8:00AM Wolfford stabbed her son six times with a steak knife. She then stabbed herself multiple times as well.
Neighbors called 911 after hearing screaming. WGRZ-TV interviewed Wolfford’s neighbor who said:
“I heard a bunch of banging…and I thought she was being physically abused so I was gonna go upstairs to help her,” she told WGRZ-TV.
Upon hearing further screams from the mother and her son, Hairston says the pair decided to take action to gain entry into the apartment.
“My husband kicked open her door and we saw her standing there with her son next to her covered in blood and she had a knife in her hand,” Hairston said.
Hairston says the couple quickly snatched the boy and fled the apartment, with their neighbor, whom they identify as Zakiyyah Wolfford chasing them down the stairs, still with the knife in her hand.
“My goal was to get him (the child) out…I couldn’t leave him in that situation even if it endangered myself.”
When police arrived they found Wolfford outside of the residence with self-inflicted stab wounds. She was arrested and charged with attempted assault. Her son was transported to Oishei Children’s Hospital for treatment to wounds on his abdomen, chest, and arms.
Due to her history of mental illness Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn allowed Wolfford to plead guilty to attempted assault instead of assault. Flynn stated “obviously, this is a terrible situation for everyone involved.”
He went on to report that the boy is doing well and is back in school. The boy will remain in his father’s custody.
After pleading guilty to attempted assault Wolfford faced up to three years in prison, however she was sentenced to five years of probation instead. Additionally, State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns granted an eight year order of protection to the boy.
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