A woman and her former boyfriend are facing felony charges in Miller County in the alleged physical abuse of a 2-year-old girl.
Preston Montgomery "Monte" Bush, 22, and Mary Alyce Jenkins Corbell, 23, were arrested in May by the Miller County Sheriff's Office. Bush is charged with second-degree domestic battery, while Corbell is charged with permitting the abuse of a minor, her 2-year-old daughter.
Formal charges were filed against both defendants last week by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell.
A couple in Foreman, Ark., contacted the Little River County Sheriff's Office after noticing bruises on the toddler while they were babysitting her May 3 for Corbell, according to a probable cause affidavit. The case was referred to Miller County after it was determined the girl's injuries likely were inflicted at Corbell's home in Fouke, Ark.
When contacted by investigators May 3, Corbell reportedly said she left the child with Bush about 7:30 a.m. May 2. She said when she returned home from work at 7 p.m., she noticed a red mark on her daughter's face that Bush allegedly told her was caused by a bite from their puppy.
Corbell reportedly told investigators that she noticed red marks on the child's back while changing her clothes and claimed that she kicked Bush out of her home after confronting him.
The girl's biological father told investigators he took the child to Wadley Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment of the marks. The father reported that medical staff told him the girl did not suffer any fractures but that they did document human bite marks on the youngster's right buttock, left foot, stomach and right arm. Also noted was a black eye and bruising on the child's back consistent with strikes from a belt.
The girl also was found to be suffering from a urinary tract infection. The father told investigators he had received and filled a prescription for the infection.
The child reportedly told a forensic interviewer at the Children's Advocacy Center in Texarkana that Bush bit her and spanked her because she would not stop talking.
Corbell allegedly shared photos of the child's injuries with the girl's father but said she did not want Bush to go to jail and that she preferred he "be punished by family on the outside."
Corbell was arrested May 14. She was released the next day on a $5,000 commercial bond, with the condition that she is to have no contact with her daughter.
Bush was arrested May 16. He is free on a $30,000 bond and is prohibited from having contact with the child.
Corbell faces up to six years in prison, a fine up to $10,000 or both if found guilty of permitting the abuse of her daughter. Bush faces three to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $10,000 or both if found guilty of second-degree domestic battery.
The defendants are scheduled to appear before a Miller County circuit judge next month.