Date: 1993-08-06
Source: newsbank.com



August 6, 1993
Tom Beyerlein
Dayton Daily News
Greene County Prosecutor William Schenck on Thursday charged a juvenile in the Sept. 21 death of 6-year-old Hannah Carroll, who died of bleach burns at her Cedarville home.

Schenck would not name the juvenile, but 17-year-old James Carroll, one of 10 adopted children of Timothy and Kathleen Carroll, acknowledged at a coroner's inquest that he is considered a suspect. The court has appointed attorney Stephen Bogenschutz as James Carroll's guardian-advocate. The suspect is charged with accusations of delinquency by reason of involuntary manslaughter.

Schenck said Judge Richard T. Cole denied a request for an arrest warrant, so the suspect is free.

Schenck announced the charges Thursday, after the conclusion of a coroner's inquest into the death of Hannah and three other Carroll children, who authorities say died under suspicious circumstances.

Experts testified at the inquest that Noah, 3; Mollie, 3; and Josiah, 12, may have been suffocated or smothered. They all died since Hannah's death. All of the dead children were disabled.

Four children - James; Isaiah, 11; Hosea, 10; and Samuel, 5 - remain in the Carroll home. Judge Cole is to hear a prosecution motion this morning calling for their immediate removal to foster care.

Schenck said the involuntary manslaughter charges were justified by information that emerged during the coroner's inquest.

Timothy, Kathleen and James Carroll, all of whom had testified previously, declined to answer questions Thursday, citing their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

During her brief appearance Thursday, Kathleen Carroll said in a prepared statement she had cooperated fully with authorities and had given more than seven hours of testimony, but "little consideration has been shown for my loss. My well-intended motives have been twisted, contorted and manipulated, even though I have answered all the questions that were asked. Most of the questions were unrelated to any legitimate medical inquiry."

The only testimony at Thursday's session came from Gayle Back, a church friend of the Carrolls who said she helped care for Hannah, who had Down syndrome, in the first hours after the bleach-burn incident.

Back said when the bleach incident occurred, James Carroll was caring for Hannah while his parents were at the hospital with another of the children.

"I received a phone call from James," she said. "He said Hannah had spilled bleach on herself and she was crying."

Checking the warning label on a bottle of bleach at her home, Back told James to rinse Hannah with cool water in the shower. She phoned back a few minutes later, and James told her Hannah was still crying.

Back said she made the 40-minute drive from Franklin, where she lived at the time, to Cedarville. When she entered the Carroll home, she said she found the shelves in the laundry room knocked down, and bleach and detergent on the floor. Her eyes stung from the fumes, she said.

James was in the bathroom with Hannah, who was in the tub, Back testified. She said Hannah was acting normally and did not appear badly injured, so she didn't seek further medical attention for the girl, who died three days later.

"I asked her what she had done and she just hung her head," Back said. "She was embarrassed."

Back testified it was "typical" for Hannah to play with household liquids by pouring them out - Hannah once ruined a television and VCR by pouring shampoo on them. "She would go and look for something liquid to pour," Back said. "She always did that."

Earlier in the four-day inquest, however, a nationally recognized burns expert said Hannah could not have spilled the bleach on herself and someone else had to have been involved.


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