06/14/13 Details have been made available concerning the June 7th arrest of a Plymouth grandmother charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury as a class C felony and battery resulting in bodily injury as a class D felony. 47 year old Margo Wallace is accused of putting her 7 year old granddaughter’s feet in hot water in the bath tub causing second degree burns.
The probable cause affidavit states that on Tuesday, May 21st Plymouth Police Detective Leo Mangus was contacted by a caseworker with the Department of Child Services and was advised they were investigating a possible child abuse case that had taken place at 404 Alexander Street in Plymouth.
Detective Mangus and the caseworker for the child met with Margo Wallace and her husband Billy Wallace at their home. It was documented that the home was extremely dirty and unkept. Detective Mangus asked where the child had been burnt and was directed to the bathroom by Mrs. Wallace. She stated that she had given another child and the alleged victim a bath, the victim had drained the water and had turned the hot water on burning her feet and ankles. Wallace advised this incident occurred on Saturday, March 30th at approximately 7:00 P.M.
Mrs. Wallace agreed to give a statement at the Plymouth Police Department and repeatedly stated that she was not responsible for the child’s burns. She further indicated that she had continual problems with the child not eat properly and had to discipline her on a regular basis. Wallace advised that she did have to spank the children but did not abuse them and that the children had to eat and sleep on the floor due to limited space.
Mrs. Wallace took the victim to a local physician on April 2nd telling the doctor the child had accidently been burned on hot water in the bath tub. The doctor provided a 2 week medical excuse from school for the minor child.
The 7 year old granddaughter was interviewed by a therapist from the Casie Center on May 22nd that said her grandmother told her to eat or she would put her in hot water. The child said she had thrown up and her grandmother took her to the bathtub and put her feet in hot water. The victim told the therapist it hurt and she couldn’t walk due to pain. The victim indicated that the other children in the home were in the house when the incident happened. The affidavit indicated that there were 9 children and 4 adults living in the home where the incident occurred.
Detective Mangus interviewed other child living in the home on May 23rd and learned that Wallace had got mad at the child and told her to swallow her food or she would be put in hot water. It was then advised that the grandmother took the alleged girl to the bathroom and the other kids could hear her screaming that her feet were burnt.
Another child interviewed said that the victim got burnt on a regular basis.
Plymouth Police arrested Margo Wallace at 8:50 Friday, June 8th. Her bond was set at $3,000 and paid about 6 p.m. and Wallace was released.
In providing these details please remember this affidavit is only allegations supported by probable cause. The person charged is presumed innocent and that presumption shall continue until or unless a jury or judge decides the allegations have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The person charged is entitled to a trail by jury at which they cannot be compelled to testify and may remain silent. The accused is entitled to an attorney to represent her and if she cannot afford one will be appointed for her at public expense. At the trail the State of Indiana is required to prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt and if it fails to do so the person charged should be found not guilty.