- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Charges against a 23-year-old Hardy man, accused of the malicious wounding of a 17-month old child, have been certified to a Bedford County grand jury.
Robert Lewis Evans has been charged with felony malicious wounding in an incident in which he allegedly struck the child several times in the face.
He appeared in Bedford Juvenile and Domestic Court, Tuesday, in a preliminary hearing. In this type of hearing, according to Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Wes Nance, the purpose is to show that the crime probably happened and that the accused is the probable culprit. The grand jury will also make a probable cause determination. In the actual trial, the Commonwealth's burden is to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the hearing, Nance called Melissa Harper, a forensic nurse examiner, who examined the child after he was brought to Community Hospital in Roanoke on Nov. 7. She testified that the child's left ear was dark purple and that there was bruising on his head behind and above his head. There was dried blood on his face and nose. An examination also found that his skull had fractures on that side. Harper said that no explanation was given to her for the injuries.
Under cross examination by W. Edward Cooley, Evans' defense attorney, Harper said that there could be non-trauma reasons for the nose bleed and bruising. However, she said that the child's mother said that he had not fallen. Blood tests revealed nothing that would indicate that there had been a spontaneous nose bleed.
Investigator Rick Baldwin, of the Bedford County Sheriff's Office said that he was called in after Roanoke police determined that Bedford County had jurisdiction in the case.
Baldwin said that Evans voluntarily came to the Sheriff's Office on Nov. 8. According to Baldwin, Evans originally told him that he had gotten up to feed the child and that the child slipped out of his hands and fell. Later, Evans told investigators that the child had hit his head on the playpen.
Finally, according to Baldwin's testimony, Evans said that he struck the child three times on the side of the child's head with his closed fist to keep him quiet. Evans also made a written statement, according to testimony.
Judge Philip Wallace, who presided over the hearing, certified the charges to the January grand jury. Evans remains in custody at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail.