A Mountain Home man charged with inflicting serious injuries to his then 3-month-old daughter in April last year appears headed for trial on the charges against him. The trial is now set for April 22nd.
Fourteenth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney David Ethredge told the court the state has made a plea offer in the case and if it was not accepted by April 1st, the offer would be withdrawn paving the way for the case to go to trial.
Twenty-two-year-old Andrew William Coon was arrested April 20th last year after allegedly admitting to investigators he had "no doubt" he was the one responsible for fracturing his daughter's arms, legs and ribs.
The investigation into how the child was hurt was launched when a report from Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock indicated the injuries to the little girl were consistent with physical abuse. A doctor at Children's said "no plausible history of trauma has been provided to explain any of these fractures."
Medical personnel at Children's further reported some of the injuries had apparently been caused by "violent and excessive force," and the age of the injuries indicated there may have been at least two episodes of what was described as violent trauma.
The suspected child abuse was reported to the Mountain Home Police Department by the Crimes Against Children Division of the state police April 11th last year. The police were also told the Department of Human Services had taken custody of the baby.
According to the probable cause affidavit, the girl's mother told investigators she had no direct knowledge of any wrongdoing by Coon, but did say she would occasionally hear an unusual type of scream when he was changing the infant. The little girl was first seen at Baxter Regional Medical Center before being taken to Children's. The mother told investigators as the couple prepared to go to BRMC, Coon had remarked the trip to the hospital "may not end well."
When he was first interviewed by police, Coon provided several explanations to account for the baby's injuries. Eventually, Coon is alleged to have said, "I may have used a little more force than I should have."
Investigators said Coon gave a full confession during his second interview, saying it was "accurate" to say he was the one responsible for his daughter's injuries.
Coon has been free on $25,000 bond since being released from the Baxter County Detention Center last year.
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