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Mom found guilty of neglect, injuries

An Allen Superior Court jury convicted a mother of neglecting her child and causing serious injuries.

After a mere 30 minutes of deliberation Wednesday afternoon, the jury convicted 36-year-old Angela Beck of the Class B felony charge.

Beck’s co-defendant, Gregory R. Higgins II, 27, pleaded guilty this year to the same charge.

Both were charged in September after her toddler suffered serious head injuries.

The verdict came after a two-day trial before Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull.

Three children – ages 15 months, 12 years and 10 years – lived in their home in the 400 block of Elizabeth Street.

According to court documents, Beck and Higgins often left the children home alone overnight while they looked for used metal objects to sell, but the high-level felony charges stemmed not from that but from injuries to the toddler’s head.

According to court documents, Beck let Higgins take the toddler upstairs with him last May.

Higgins told investigators he fell asleep with the toddler in his care and that he found the child lying unresponsive on his back on the stairway landing.

Doctors who evaluated the toddler at St. Joseph Hospital’s emergency room and later at Lutheran Hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit said the injuries were inconsistent with Higgins’ claim that the child merely took a tumble down the stairs.

Doctors found a midline shift of the child’s brain from swelling, bleeding on his brain behind his forehead and unusual bruises around his scalp. According to court documents, the bruising looked like fingerprints, as if the toddler was grabbed on both sides of his head.

Additional bruises of varying age were found, as well as an unattended injury to his left big toe, a sore on the bottom of his lip and an injury to the inside of his mouth, according to court documents.

Beck told a detective the injuries occurred when the child hit himself in the head with his toys. But doctors said such injuries were not likely to be caused by that and were consistent with child abuse.

Higgins will be sentenced Monday and faces no more than 30 years in prison. Beck will be sentenced in September.