In their first court appearances on Monday, a Verona couple charged in the death of a three-year-old boy pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Sarah Garbee, mother of the victim, and Caleb Williams were arrested and charged Friday with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death. They were held in the Lawrence County jail with bond set at $100,000 each.
The county sheriff's office was alerted at approximately 3 a.m. last Wednesday regarding the death of a child under suspicious circumstances after the child had been taken to a local hospital. An autopsy was conducted on the child and the determination was made that his death was a result of blunt force trauma.
In probable cause statements filed with the sheriff's office, Garbee said the boy had been vomiting and running a fever for about a week but she believed that his condition was improving. However, when the couple was in bed later last Tuesday evening, they heard a noise in the living room, leading them to find the child slumped over on the couch.
Garbee stated that they gave the boy Tylenol and changed his soiled diaper, after finding that his stomach appeared tight. The couple then changed the child into warmer clothes and drove to the hospital.
In addition to the circumstances of the night in question, Garbee also commented on Williams's prior behavior with the child. She stated he would hold the child over his head with his thumbs near the belly button when the boy would get in trouble. Garbee said she did not approve of the tactic and had told Williams as much.
Garbee denied hurting the boy and said she knew they should have taken him to the doctor sooner.
Williams also denied any wrongdoing in his own probable cause statement, admitting he once spanked the child but otherwise used timeout as punishment.
A deposition hearing was scheduled for August 5 in Garbee's case, while Williams will have a hearing on August 22.