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Update: Johnson City police say infant had bruises all over body; mother arrested, charges pending against father

May 23rd, 2013 9:20 pm by Becky Campbell

Update: Johnson City police say infant had bruises all over body; mother arrested, charges pending against father

Mark Vincent Kendall and Melissa G. Hyatt-Kendall


The mother of an 18-day-old girl was arraigned Thursday on a child abuse charge that stemmed from a hospital visit about a rash.


Melissa G. Hyatt-Kendall, 29, 111 Roseview Drive, Apt. 19, took her child to Johnson City Medical Center on May 15, but the child’s injuries were not consistent with the reasons for them that she gave the hospital’s medical staff, police said in a news release.


During Hyatt-Kendall’s, arraignment, Judge James Nidiffer increased the woman’s bond to $100,000. It was previously set at $10,000, but Assistant District Attorney General Julie Hays asked for the increase based on the allegations.


The child’s father, Mark Vincent Kendall, is also charged but has not been arraigned yet because he’s in the Sullivan County jail on unrelated charges.


After the Kendalls took their daughter to the hospital about the rash, JCMC staff contacted the Department of Children Services and an investigation was initiated. DCS contacted the Johnson City Police Department on Friday.


The hospital’s staff noticed the infant had bruising all over her body, including her buttocks, genitals, thigh, chest, arms and abdomen.


While treating the infant, nurses also discovered a torn frenulum — the webbing under the tongue — and a small puncture wound on the palm of each hand.


After treatment, a pediatrician reported that no medical condition was present that would cause bruising or any of the other injuries.


Police said in a court document that the parents came to the JCPD headquarters for an interview and told investigators they took the child to the hospital because of a rash on her chest they thought had been caused by laundry detergent residue left in a bathtub. Neither parent told police about noticing bruising or other injuries. They said they were the child’s only caregivers.


Hyatt-Kendall’s next court appearance is May 29 at 1:30 p.m.


In April 2012, Kendall was charged with assaulting his previous wife. Police had gone to Timbers North Apartments about 11:30 p.m. Saturday and found Ginger Begley-Kendall, 38, walking down Timberlake Road near Mikapea Drive. She told officers she had been arguing with her husband about issues with friends when the argument turned physical. 


Begley-Kendall said her husband grabbed her by the hair and then by the throat, choking her before slamming her into a wall. He then threw her down a brick walkway, where she suffered a cut on her left palm. 


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