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Salem Man Sentenced To Prison For Beating Toddler
Updated November 26, 2014 8:00 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(SALEM) - The third and final defendant in a child abuse case in Salem that began months ago has been sentenced.

31-year-old Earl Kilijah Mann entered a plea agreement, pleading guilty to battery, a Class B felony. His second B felony charge for neglect of a dependent, was dismissed.

Circuit Judge Larry Medlock sentenced Mann to 13 years with one year suspended. With credit for time served, he's expected to be imprisoned for the next five years. Upon his release, he will be placed on home detention for one year.

There were several aggravating factors noted by the state in Mann's case, including his history of criminal and delinquent behavior, the young age of the victim and the fact that Mann had recently violated conditions of probation.

Mann physically abused his then-girlfriend's toddler child.

Not only was Mann charged with the crime, but his ex-wife, 27-year-old Nicole Mann, of Salem, for failure to report child abuse.

This case was unique in that much of it revolved around text messages sent from Mann to his ex-wife, Nicole Mann. "I know I smacked him so hard in the head and it knocked him out."

Nicole Mann texted Kilijah Mann: "Do you remember calling me last night in tears because you thought you killed him?"

Prosecutor Dustin Houchin says Indiana law requires anyone who sees evidence of suspected child abuse has to report it, so the allegation can be investigated. Houchin says there is no exception to that law.

Also charged in the case is the child's mother, 27-year-old Rose McNeely, whom authorities say failed to seek medical care for her injured child.

Salem police began an investigation after the boy's father was told by a friend that his son had numerous bruises and his eyes were swollen shut.

After police interviewed the father and the father's friend, officers made a welfare check on the toddler who was living on Reid Avenue.

McNeely told police that her son had not been beaten and the bite mark found on the boy was done by another child. She says the bruises were suffered during a tickling incident with Mann. She then told police that the child's swollen eyes were the result of him rubbing pepper in his eyes.

Carol Mann, who lives with her ex-husband and helps with the child's care, told police that she had left the home and when she returned the toddler's eyes were swollen shut. The swelling was so bad that she had to lead the boy around because he could not see. She told police she washed the child's eyes out with Johnson & Johnson Baby Bath, but did not take the child to the hospital for treatment.

But according to a physician at Kosair Children's Hospital, who examined the child, that amounts to medical neglect.
The witness who alerted the boy's father about the abuse told police he told McNeely to take the child to the hospital, but she refused saying she did not want Child Protective Services to get involved.

CPS was notified by police and the toddler was taken to St. Vincent Salem Hospital and then transferred to Kosair.

Where doctors found extensive bruising, abrasions, contusions and scratched over much of the boy's body.

When McNeely was questioned about the other bruises she told doctors she didn't know where they had come from.
McNeely she was arrested on charges of neglect of a dependant.

Rose McNeely, of Salem, entered a blind plea on a C felony charge of neglect of a dependent. She was sentenced to four years, two suspended, followed by probation at the conclusion of a lengthy and dramatic sentencing hearing that spanned two days in late April in Washington Circuit Court.

Nicole Carol Mann, ex-wife of Kilijah Mann, entered a plea agreement and was sentenced to 180 days with 164 suspended, plus 164 days probation, for failing to report the suspected abuse.

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