HOUSTON – A couple faces felony injury to a child charges after a 7-year-old boy was left with 26% of his body burned in March, according to documents filed in court.
Officials say 27-year-old John Mark Terrell tried to discipline his girlfriend, 26-year-old Roekeicha Lashay Brisby’s son for misbehaving in school in March. Terrell is accused of forcing the child to stand in a shower as he sprayed him with scalding water that resulted in burns on his head, face, neck and chest. The boy told police he went to bed after the assault and Brisby saw his injuries the next day.
She is accused of lying to police and to doctors about how the boy got burned. Police say she told them the boy was playing with a ball and ran into the kitchen and knocked over a wok of boiling water on the stove. When asked to recreate the moment, police say she was hesitant and then demonstrated in a way that was implausible.
She also told police she took the child to the hospital a few days later but police found no records of his treatment. She did take the boy to his pediatrician but not to a Shriners Burn Hospital, as previously recommended by a nurse practitioner.
On other occasions, witnesses and the boy’s family members told police they suspected Terrell had whipped the boy’s buttocks, causing the top layer of skin to come off. A teacher told police she had seen the boy with hands so swollen, she thought he was wearing gloves. When asked about it, the teacher told police he said he had been hit with a ruler. Multiple witnesses, including the teacher, told police they had reported the boy’s mother and her boyfriend to Child Protective Services. When family members made reports, they told police Brisby stopped allowing them to be around the child.
Multiple witnesses told police the child told them about the burns and told them his mother’s boyfriend had caused them. There were several scars on the boy’s body including raised keloid type scarring on his chest, police wrote.
In August, the boy’s biological father saw him for the first time in two years, as he had been in prison, police say. When he saw the scars, he reported the alleged abuse to the Houston Police Department, according to the court documents.
Terrell and Brisby each face one count of felony injury to a child and were taken into custody by the Humble Police Department. They are scheduled to appear in court on Monday, Dec. 2. The child has been placed in the care of relatives.