A safety plan and orders for extensive counseling were in place when a local juvenile court judge returned a 3-month-old infant to the custody of his parents last month.
The child, Jawaun Henley, was listed in fair condition Monday at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, suffering from injuries authorities say are consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
Meanwhile, the baby's father, Curtis L. Henley, 35, continued to be held without bond in the Delaware County jail, preliminarily charged with aggravated battery, neglect of a dependent and obstruction of justice. Henley, arrested last Friday, told authorities he shook his son after accidentally falling on him. During a Monday interview, Delaware County Juvenile Court Judge Brian Pierce said protections were in place when he ordered the return of Jawaun Henley to his parents -- Melissa A. Overbay, 21, and Henley -- in the wake of a Nov. 10 domestic dispute that allegedly saw the mother stab the father.
And Pierce said the Indiana Department of Child Services did not object to the placement, agreeing with the safety plan and intensive in-home counseling services to be provided by Meridian Services three days a week.
The judge, who has been on the juvenile bench since last spring, wanted to clarify reports that DCS raised concerns about placing the infant back in a home where Overbay was accused of stabbing Henley. Formal charges have not been filed in connection with the Nov. 10 incident.
A doctor at Riley Hospital for Children, Robert Hibbard, advised the injuries to the Henley infant's brain and ribs were "non-accidental," according to a probable cause affidavit that led to Curtis Henley's arrest.
The elder Henley has denied intentionally hurting his son. A preliminary hearing in his case is set for Wednesday.
Citing the confidentiality of juvenile court records, Pierce would not release a transcript of the Henley hearing without a petition and court order. And he would not discuss details of the safety plan or counseling.
DCS officials also declined to say what they did to protect the Henley infant, citing the same confidentiality rules.
"We cannot discuss specific cases," said DCS spokesman Susan Tielking.
Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney last week called the case "the worst-case scenario of everybody's nightmare."
WTHR's Rich van Wyk also reported on this case on this evening's news broadcast. His report indicated doctors at Riley Hospital had determined that the child had also suffered broken ribs from an earlier injury, which have subsequently healed. He says the father nearly bled to death from the November stabbing committed by his wife, but he declined to press charges against her.