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'His bones were clearly visible' — Lincoln mother, father charged with felony child abuse

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A Lincoln couple is facing felony charges after their 4-month-old child was found to be malnourished and in need of life-saving care earlier this month, according to court documents. 

Kevin Scott, 21, and Amanda Wellington, 25, called police at around 3 p.m. Jan. 2 after they found their child had turned blue and was gasping for air in their home near 27th and Y streets, according to the affidavit for the couple's arrest. 

Paramedics rendered life-saving measures to the child, who was later admitted to CHI St. Elizabeth for "immediate life-saving care" after investigators found the child to be severely malnourished, according to the affidavit. 

"His bones were clearly visible, and his skin was hanging due to the lack of muscle and body fat," the affidavit reads. 

Stacie Bleicher, medical director at Lincoln's Child Advocacy Center who reviewed body cam footage of the child, told investigators the baby was at risk of death when police responded to the couple's residence, according to the affidavit.

The 4-month-old, who was 7 pounds at birth, weighed 6 pounds, 6.5 ounces when he was admitted to St. Elizabeth's, according to the affidavit. The child hadn't seen a doctor since mid-September, LPD investigators wrote in the affidavit. 

Scott and Wellington told investigators transportation issues had prevented them from taking their child to medical appointments in the months since, and the family's gas had been shut off, according to the affidavit. The couple, whose apartment had been heated by space heaters, told police they couldn't afford to have their gas re-activated. 

In the affidavit, investigators noted the couple had a functioning vehicle. 

A spokesperson for Black Hills Energy said the gas provider in Lincoln encourages customers to call and worth through financial issues. The spokeswoman pointed to Black Hills Cares, a company program that in Nebraska partners with the Salvation Army to provide financial assistance to those in need, as well as public assistance programs throughout the state

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lincoln offers funds to assist with housing and utility costs, though need for such assistance has to be a result of the pandemic for applicants to qualify, according to the city's website. 

Both Scott and Wellington were arrested on Friday and later charged with felony child abuse. 

After initially being lodged at the Lancaster County Jail, both Scott and Wellington were released on personal recognizance bond, meaning they didn't have to pay to be released. They would have to pay $500 if they fail to appear at their next court hearing in February. 

A part of the couple's bond condition is a no contact order with the 4-month-old, who remains at St. Elizabeth's, according to court filings. 

Three other children living in the home were placed into protective custody, according to juvenile court records.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7223 or awegley@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @andrewwegley

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