A San Augustine County man and woman were arrested last week in connection to allegation he used a stick or tree branch to whip his 7-year old niece, leaving visible bruises on her body.
San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham says 32-year old Nicholas John Speer and 25-year old Lillie Catherine Fults, both of San Augustine, have been charged with injury to a child. Speer has also been charged with tampering with evidence, and Fults with tampering with a witness.
The incident occurred on Sept. 11, and reportedly resulted from the victim coming home with a “bad color” on her report card.
The little girl told a forensic interviewer she “whupped” by her uncle for being bad at school. Speer allegedly used a stick to whip the girl on her face, buttocks and thighs. Fultz is the child’s mother, and was charged because she did not intercede or stop her brother-in-law from beating the girl.
Child Protective Services notified the San Augustine Sheriff’s Office of the investigation. Cunningham said during the investigation Speer presented a small switch, but there was no way those injuries were caused by a little switch. That’s why he was charged with tampering with evidence.
Cunningham also added Fults was charged with tampering with a witness because she supposedly coached the little girl on what to say to authorities on how she got the injuries.
Both suspects remain in the San Augustine County Jail this morning, Speer on a $20,000 cash bond, and Fults on a $30,000 cash bond.
Lillie Fults (photos courtesy of San Augustine County S.O.)