Casper Man Admits Child Abuse; Assaulted Victim’s Mother in 2017
A Casper man admitted to allegations that he abused a small child in late 2018.
Michael Allen Carpenter pleaded guilty to a single count of child abuse in Natrona County District Court Wednesday afternoon. Court records say the child was born in 2017.
As a part of a plea agreement, prosecutors will ask for a maximum sentence of 15 to 24 months in prison. Carpenter is expected to ask for probation.
In addition to that, if Carpenter gets prison time, a probation sentence Carpenter is currently serving in another felony case will be discharged. Filings in Natrona County District Court indicate that Carpenter was handed a 3-year supervised probation sentence for assaulting the child's mother while she was pregnant in early 2017.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Carpenter brought the child to the Wyoming Department of Family Services on Nov. 15, 2018. Carpenter allegedly told DFS workers that he could not take care of the child anymore and wished to turn the child back over to DFS care.
The investigating Casper police detective in the case learned from DFS that the child had recently been placed back with Carpenter for a trial placement which began several months prior.
Court document say the detective noted bruising on the child's head and face. The child also had bruising underneath his left eyelid. Carpenter allegedly told the authorities that he decided he "needed a break" from taking care of the child.
Speaking with the detective, Carpenter allegedly said the child threw tantrums and would throw himself forward and backward while in a "pack and play."
According to the affidavit, Carpenter also described an incident in which the child was going down the stairs before falling and hitting his head.
When the detective told Carpenter the child's injuries did not appear to be accidental or from the child hitting himself, Carpenter allegedly replied, "I know that."
After speaking with Carpenter, a Casper police detective interviewed a woman who lived with Carpenter and the child. Asked if she noticed any injuries the child had, the woman said, "the same bruises you guys saw." The woman also told authorities that the child was very clumsy and she was concerned about the child self-harming.
Investigators also conducted a forensic interview with a girl who lived with Carpenter and the alleged victim. Court documents say the girl told authorities that she was worried the child is "going to die" because of all the "boo boos" the victim got.
The girl went on to describe incidences of Carpenter throwing the child on the couch, the affidavit says.
In an interview with authorities, the child's daycare provider said the child never threw fits to the extent that Carpenter allegedly described to investigators.
A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.