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OKC Man Accused of Throwing Infant at Wall

Ryan Coventon - Monday, July 24, 2017

An Oklahoma City man is behind bars after he allegedly threw a 3-month-old baby against a wall.

Deven Chapin, 23, has been held in the Oklahoma County Jail since his arrest on June 30. He is jailed on two counts of child abuse, with bond set at $10,000 for each.

The baby's mother, Pandora Smithpeter, 21, says that she was taking a shower at her apartment while Chapin, her boyfriend, was watching the infant. When she got out of the shower, she told police that Chapin was standing in the doorway of her bedroom and handed her the baby.

She says the child was obviously injured, with a lump on the side of his head. She called an ambulance, and the baby was transported to a local hospital with a severe head injury.

At the hospital, the nature of the child's injuries became clear. The infant had skull fractures on both the right and left sides of his head, as well as a fractured rib. Medical professionals and police said the injuries could not have been inflicted accidentally.

When investigators questioned Chapin, he reportedly blamed other children in the home for the infant's injuries. However, police say he finally admitted to abusing the child, although his stories were inconsistent. At one point, he said he threw the baby on a bed and it bounced up and hit the wall. Another time, he said that the became frustrated that the baby would not stop crying and threw it against the wall. He told police that he "blacked out" and did not remember throwing the child.

The baby was released from the hospital a few days after he was admitted. Chapin remains in jail.

Oklahoma law prohibits and penalizes the abuse, neglect, exploitation, or sexual abuse of a child in 21 O.S. ยง 843.5. This statute, as it pertains to physical abuse of a child, states the following:

A. Any parent or other person who shall willfully or maliciously engage in child abuse shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding life imprisonment, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment. As used in this subsection, "child abuse" means the willful or malicious harm or threatened harm or failure to protect from harm or threatened harm to the health, safety, or welfare of a child under eighteen (18) years of age by another, or the act of willfully or maliciously injuring, torturing or maiming a child under eighteen (18) years of age by another.

If a child dies as a result of child abuse, the abuser is charged with first degree murder, which is punishable by life in prison or life without parole.

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