Prosecutors in the case against Ashley Burch, accused of pouring boiling water on a six-year-old child, say modifications should not be made to the defendant’s pretrial no contact orders.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Carol Crews filed the prosecution’s response, and objection, in Faulkner County Circuit Court on Wednesday. In the response, Crews said the prosecution believes the defense’s motion to have Burch’s no contact orders modified to allow her visitation with her biological daughter should be denied by the court.
Burch, charged with first-degree domestic battery and first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor, was arrested Oct. 8 after a six-year-old in her care told police Burch became angry with her, and poured hot water on her. The child received severe burns from her belly button to her mid-thigh, police said.
At an Oct. 29 hearing, Burch’s bond was lowered to $60,000, down from $100,000. As a condition of her release, Burch was ordered to have no contact with the child or the child’s mother — both of whom she lived with, police said.
A second order was stated Burch was to have no contact with any children.
Burch’s defense attorney, Brian Bowen, filed a motion Nov. 7 requesting the court modify conditions of the contact order to allow Burch to have visitations with her daughter.
"The Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services has determined, in a probable cause hearing, that supervised visitation between Ashley Burch and her biological daughter would be appropriate," the motion states.
The motion includes a copy of the court order, filed Oct. 15, which states "the mother and father shall have supervised visitation with the juvenile at the office of DHS or any other place DHS determines to be appropriate."
The order states the visits are "contingent upon (Burch) being released from custody and any no contact orders being modified or set aside to allow the visitation to occur."
In its response asking the court to deny any modifications, the prosecution states it believes Burch knowingly caused injury to the six-year-old child.
"The state does not believe this was an accident," the response states. "In fact, the state elicited testimony at the recent bond hearing that the defendant gave at least five different accounts to law enforcement of what happened and all are inconsistent with the medical evidence in the case."
Burch’s next pretrial hearing is scheduled Dec. 16 before Faulkner County Circuit Judge Ed Clawson.
First-degree domestic battery, a class B felony, carries a penalty of five to 20 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine. First-degree endangering the welfare of a minor, a class D felony, carries a penalty of up to six years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
(Staff writer Lee Hogan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1246. Follow Lee Hogan on Twitter at twitter.com/LCD_LeeHogan. To comment on this and other stories, log on to thecabin.net.)