Date: 1994-06-14



June 14, 1994
Janice Haidet
Dayton Daily News
A severely handicapped child who lived in the Cedarville home where four children died in nine months has communicated that he saw his older brother smother another child, Greene County's prosecutor said Monday.

The boy, who cannot speak, indicated what he saw by answering yes and no questions put to him by a teacher and a speech pathologist, Prosecutor William F. Schenck said. Schenck said he doesn't know whether the latest information in the long-running case would lead to new criminal charges against the older brother, 18-year-old James Carroll, who was acquitted last year in the death of another sibling.

According to court records filed in Greene County on Monday, 11-year-old Isaiah Carroll has "told" officials that a year ago today, he watched James smother his 12-year-old handicapped brother, Josiah.

Further, Isaiah communicated that James sexually abused him and that he's afraid of James.

The boy's adoptive parents, Timothy and Kathleen Carroll, declined comment. Mrs. Carroll's lawyer, John Rion, disputed Isaiah's ability to convey such complicated ideas.

"He's not of sufficient verbal or intellectual ability," Rion said.

Schenck on Monday filed documents asking Visiting Judge Richard T. Cole for a number of court actions, including protection for Isaiah as a material witness.

Schenck also wants family visitations with Isaiah and Samuel, 6, to be terminated.

Isaiah and Samuel were removed from the Carroll home and placed in temporary custody of Greene County Children Services, which placed them in foster homes last August. Cole made that decision after a coroner's inquest into four suspicious deaths revealed that the Carrolls, were unable to care for the two boys' special needs adequately.

Isaiah suffered a brain-damaging injury that hampered his motor skills. Samuel has Down syndrome.

"Continuing visitation under these circumstances would endanger Isaiah and Samuel Carroll, and would not be in their best interest," Schenck wrote. "The state believes that efforts will be made to intimidate these children."

Further, Greene County Children Services is seeking permanent custody of Isaiah and Samuel.

Because of the sexual abuse allegation, Schenck also is asking Cole for an emergency hearing to remove Hosea, 10, from the Cedarville home of the Carrolls, who saw four of their 10 adopted children die in a nine-month period.

An affidavit filed by James D. McDonald, chief of speech pathology at the Ohio State University, says, in part, "Isaiah was able to communicate to me through a series of yes and no questions that he was . . . awake and saw James Carroll come into the room. Isaiah communicated that he witnessed James smother Josiah."

McDonald interviewed Isaiah in December. The same findings were reported in affidavits signed by four other people, including Isaiah's teacher, Regina Smith.

"Isaiah communicated . . . he saw James hurt Josiah and pointed to pictures of hands, a pillow and a sheet used by James to hurt Josiah," Smith's affidavit says.

The interview with Smith occurred earlier this month.

Asked why no criminal charges have been filed yet in Josiah's death, which was ruled a homicide, Schenck said, "We're going to wait and see what the judge does next, and see how the child holds up through this process. We are able to adequately protect the children without a criminal prosecution right now."


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