LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Lawrence County man has been arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse six years later, after a lengthy investigation revealed multiple skull fractures, according to authorities.
Captain Russell L. Graham with the Moulton Police Department tells News 19 that 27-year-old William Spencer Sanford was arrested on September 6 after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
According to a report, the alleged abuse happened around October 20, 2016, to a child under the age of six – Sanford’s son. Graham says that despite the investigator’s efforts at the time, the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) hospital was not providing the “findings of the victim’s diagnosis and prognosis.”
“Without a professional’s word that the injuries sustained by the child were consistent with abuse, the case would not move forward,” Graham said.
The Captain says around February 2022 he was able to start looking at the case again himself. He tells News 19 that he got in touch with the unit at UAB and was able to get documentation from the attending physician.
Graham says a doctor’s not from the files listed three possible diagnoses, with child abuse listed at number one. He says the doctor also went into detail as to why she thought that this was abuse.
Though he didn’t go into those details due to the length of the document, Graham says he was able to establish enough probable cause based on the findings to charge the father with aggravated child abuse.
“The “aggravated” part [of] the charge is due to the injuries sustained by the victim,” Graham explained. “As he had head trauma at the time of the incident, which includes “…serious physical injury…” (Code of Alabama, 26-15-3.1(A)(1)(C), 1975).”
Captain Graham says because the charge is considered a felony, there is no statute of limitations. He added that since one side of the case was turned over to the Alabama Department of Human Resources of Lawrence County, and due to privacy, there is no update on the child’s condition today.
Sanford remains in the custody of the Lawrence County Jail on a $35,000 bond.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 1.