Scott Hicks, a 38-year-old man from Wetumpka, Alabama, was already in trouble with the law — and that’s why he was in the Bay County, Florida, Courthouse on Wednesday, attempting to settle a pair of outstanding warrants on a battery charge. But when he was going through the booking process around 10 a.m., Hicks told the bailiff that he had to run out to his car because he had left something there.
While Hicks didn’t indicate that anything was wrong, sheriff’s deputies, of course, followed him out to the parking lot anyway. What they found in the car, according to a report in the Panama City News-Herald newspaper, led to charges against Hicks worse than anything he was already facing.
And when the mom of the unconscious and unresponsive 4-year-old boy hidden under a blanket in the back seat of the vehicle showed up at the courthouse a few hours later, they arrested her too.
The boy, who has not been named publicly, was found with his eyes open and blood around his mouth. He had an open wound on his head and severe bruising all over his body. The bruises were perhaps worst around the area of the 4-year-old’s genitals.
The child’s testicles were found to be severely swollen, causing the little boy extreme pain.
The boy was on the back seat lying next to a paper bag full of handguns. Investigators later determined he had been lying alone inside the vehicle in his dire condition for about 90 minutes
The mom, according to arrest records revealed by the Wetumpka Herald newspaper, was Halle McLeod, 28, also of Wetumpka. She later admitted that both she and Hicks had physically abused the little boy.
She admitted beating the child, including hitting him in the testicles. She also said that Hicks — who is apparently not the boy’s father — threw the boy down, hard, against a floor.
Police later learned that the terrible beating of the child by the two adults, including his own mother, took place in Elmore County, Alabama, approximately 200 miles and a four-hour drive from Bay County, Florida.
Fortunately, the child was still alive and is now listed in stable condition. Police placed the boy in the custody of another family member.
The bail Scott Hicks had been seeking for his previous charges — the ones that brought him back to Florida and to the courthouse in the first place — was immediately revoked. He is now being held in Bay County Jail without bond. Halle McLeod was arrested on aggravated child abuse charges and held on $150,000 bond.
[Image: Bay County Sheriff’s Department]