Lexington daycare child abuse case sent to district court

LEXINGTON — A child abuse case is going to district court after a State Patrol investigator said a daycare provider would “bang their head into the ground.”

Elizabeth Mins, 41, appeared before Judge Anne Paine of Beaver City on Monday, June 17 for a preliminary hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence for the case to be sent to district court for prosecution.

Mins is charged with intentional child abuse, a Class 3A felony and negligent child abuse a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Judge Paine received the testimony from Nebraska State Patrol investigator Jeffrey Van Stelton, a witness for the prosecution, Nebraska special prosecutor, William Tangeman of Lincoln.

Van Stelton said during the course of his investigation he looked into an incident which occurred on Nov. 15, 2017 at Mins’ daycare at her home. Mins called 911 and said a 17 month old child had suffered injuries and she was performing CPR, said Van Stelton. The child was transported to Lexington Regional Health Center and later to the Children Hospital in Omaha for care.

During the 911 call Mins said the child was climbing up the stairs when he fell down and suffered the injuries, Van Stelton said. During later interviews with the Lexington Police Department and the State Patrol, Mins said another child bumped into the child which caused the fall and injuries.

According Van Stelton’s testimony, child safety gates were not in place at the time of the accident, but Mins did put up safety gates after the Nov. 15, 2017 event. Child safety gates are not required by the Department of Health and Human Services, Van Stelton said when asked by Mins’ attorney, Brian Davis of Cozad.

While the child was under care in Omaha, two fractured ribs were discovered to be in the healing stages. Van Stelton said according to the medical report, the fractures occurred between two weeks or two months before November 2017, between September and November.

During his interview with Mins, she said the child fell out of a pack and play and hit the concrete floor. Interviews with the child’s parents indicated the child was not able to walk during this time frame, Van Stelton said. Mins reported this event to the child’s mother the day it occurred, but not to the Lexington Police Department or DHHS, he said.

During a Family Advocacy Network interview, a four year old child who also attended Min’s daycare, said Mins would “bang their head into the ground,” referring themselves and to the child who was injured in November 2017, Van Stelton said.

Judge Paine said all the evidence and the discrepancies indicated there was probable cause that Mins committed the crime. The felony charge of child abuse was sent over to Dawson County District Court. Mins is scheduled to appear on July. 22, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.

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