Two former Central Alabama Community College students have been indicted on aggravated cruelty to animals following the death of a duck, and an Alexander City woman has been indicted on an aggravated child abuse charge, according to court records Tuesday.
Jacob Thomas Frye, 20, of Cartersville, Georgia and Thomas Grant, 20, of Wetumpka were expected in district court this week but were served with indictments moving their cases to circuit court to be set for trial.
Frye and Grant are accused of taking a duck from CACC’s pond and then beating it to death with a baseball bat, according to law enforcement.
Alexander City police chief Jay Turner said in June his department was investigating an incident of a duck being taken from the pond at CACC and assaulted by CACC students May 5.
“We were notified by CACC that they were aware of a situation involving student-athletes killing a duck,” Turner said. “The duck was from the pond at CACC. We were advised the school was going to take administrative punishment against the kids involved.”
Turner said investigators looked into the matter as well.
“We pursued an investigation to see if criminal charges were warranted,” Turner said. “Our investigation showed it did warrant criminal charges. Two warrants for arrest were obtained for aggravated cruelty to animals, a Class C felony.”
Turner said the duck was forced to be put down.
“The duck was located and taken to a vet to determine the extent of the injuries,” Turner said. “It was determined it needed to be euthanized.”
CACC spokesperson Brett Pritchard said in June school administrators were aware of the incident.
“It was reported to the college that there was an incident involving students and a duck,” Pritchard said in a statement. “The incident was reported to have taken place off campus and was reported to local law enforcement for follow up.”
Pritchard said the school took action.
“The students are no longer enrolled at CACC,” he said.
If found guilty of a Class C felony, Frye and Grant could face a prison sentence of one to 10 years.
Alex City woman indicted on child abuse
Antaqessha Bunch, 24, of Alexander City was indicted for aggravated child abuse. Bunch was arrested in July following an investigation of child abuse by the Alexander City Police Department that started in May.
The arrest warrant and complaint state the child suffered a “bilateral thin rim subdural hemorrhage” at the hands of Bunch.
“The injuries are extreme,” Turner said. “They appear to have occurred over a period of time.”
WebMD defines subdural hemorrhage as bleeding around the outside of the brain and can be caused by a head injury from things such as a fall, car accident or assault.
“The sudden blow to the head tears blood vessels that run along the surface of the brain,” WebMD reads.
Alexander City police Cpl. Sabrina Osborne said she started investigating the allegations in May.
“The child’s injuries were significant enough to obtain a warrant for aggravated child abuse,” Osborne said. “(Aggravated child abuse) has one to two elements. The abuse has to have occurred over a period of time or be significant.”
Osborne said the child was treated at a Birmingham-area hospital in May.
“Once the child got to Children’s (Hospital), they saw older injuries still healing,” Osborne said. “Once we talked to the district attorney’s office we decided on the aggravated child abuse.”
Osborne said the department had to wait on medical documentation before obtaining the arrest warrant.
Bunch remains in the Tallapoosa County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
Bunch has no criminal record in Alabama according to court records.
The Code of Alabama defines aggravated child abuse as someone who tortures, willfully abuses, cruelly beats or otherwise willfully maltreats a child on more than one occasion or causes serious physical injury. If found guilty of aggravated child abuse, Bunch could be sentenced to prison for a term of two to 20 years.