How Could You? Hall of Shame-Marie Sadlyne B. Pierre case-Child Death UPDATED
This will be an archive of heinous actions by those involved in child welfare, foster care and adoption. We forewarn you that these are deeply disturbing stories that may involve sex abuse, murder, kidnapping and other horrendous actions.
From Muncie, Indiana, guardians of a Haitian child currently known as MP, Charlene Tabb, 29,and Marcus Tabb,53 have been arrested and charged with “neglect of a dependent causing death” in the June 22, 2013 death of the five-year-old girl in their care. One media source claims that the five children they were caring for are foster children. The four other children, ranging in age from 5 to 12, have been removed from the home. One media source claims that all of the children are from Haiti. Most media sources are stating that the “birthmother” is still in Haiti. One media source says that MP is a cousin to Charlotte. An autopsy was conducted on June 24, 2013.
“Described initially as the girl’s guardians, husband and wife Marcus Marcellus Tabb, 53, and Charlene Tabb, 29, both of 1004 N. Brady St., were arrested early Sunday morning on preliminary charges of neglect of a dependent, a Class B felony. Both were still being held in the Delaware County jail Sunday night.
Police were called to the North Brady house around 11:20 p.m. Saturday after the family called 911, Cox said. The discovery of the child, not only dead but with “some suspicious injuries and wounds” prompted the investigation and arrests.
“She had some injuries that needed … professional medical help, and that didn’t happen,” Cox said in an interview. Investigators were trying to determine how the injuries occurred, as well as whether they had resulted in her death.
Deputy Coroner James Clevenger said Sunday he was “baffled” by the girl’s death, and that no preliminary cause of death had been determined. An autopsy is scheduled for today [June 24, 2013].
Other children, ranging in age from 5 to 12, were in the house at the time, but none of them appeared to have any injuries, Cox said. They were removed from the home and placed with Child Protective Services.
Cox said he wasn’t sure yet how any of the children were related to the Tabbs; police were told but had not confirmed that the dead girl and Charlene Tabb were cousins.
Officials also had not yet officially confirmed the dead child’s name and age, in part because the Tabbs had not been identified as legal next of kin who could identify her under current rules.
Clevenger said the girl was reportedly Haitian, and that her biological mother was believed to be in Haiti at the time of her death.
Test results and the autopsy should help uncover some answers, Cox said.
“It’s a very sad case,” he said. “It’s a bad situation.” ”
[The Star Press 6/23/13 by Robin Gibson]
” Delaware County Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold today announced he has elevated preliminary charges against a Muncie couple accused of causing a 5-year-old girl’s death.
Marcus and Charlene Tabb are now preliminarily charged with neglect of a dependent causing death, a Class A felony carrying a standard 30-year prison term.
Arnold made the announcement at a press conference about the incident at City Hall in downtown Muncie. Also participating in the press conference were Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler, Muncie police Chief Steve Stewart, and other members of Arnold’s staff in the prosecutor’s office.
Stewart told the assembled media the death and resulting investigation of the 5-year-old girl now being identified by her initials – “M.P.” – is “one of the most horrific cases I’ve been involved with in my 28 years with the Muncie Police Department.”
Arnold said he hopes to file formal charges in the case against the Tabbs this week.”
[The Star Press 6/24/13 by Andrew Walker]
“Police Lt. Steve Cox described the couple as the guardians of the girl. He says other children in the home ranging in age from 5 to 12 are now in the custody of Child Protective Services.
[14 News 6/23/13 by Kenneth Douglas and Associated Press]
“A Muncie child’s death is being called a homicide, and police say the five-year-old girl had multiple injuries.
Marcus and Charlene Tabb face new charges including neglect of a dependent causing death. Originally they were charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury. They are currently in jail.
The Tabbs are foster parents to five children. Police say they found one of their children, a five-year-old girl, unconscious when they arrived at the couple’s home in the 1000 block of North Brady Street late Saturday night.
When Eyewitness News went to the front door Sunday, no one answered.
Delana Willis lives just a few houses down from the Tabbs. Her children went to school and played with the older of the five foster children living in the Tabb house. In the year since the Tabbs moved to Muncie, Willis talked to the couple only a couple of times.
Willis said they never gave her any reason for concern. They seemed like ordinary couple, until the police showed up.
“Well, everyone was up last night when we saw the police lights and everything,” said Willis.
There is a Florida license plate on the Tabbs’ car. They have not been in Muncie long.
Eyewitness News is told that the little girl who died was related to the couple. There are published reports that the five children living in the house are originally from Haiti. No one in the neighborhood has pictures of the children. The only hint that children were even in the house are the chalk drawings in front of the garage.
Muncie police say the case is still under investigation.”
[WTHR 6/24/13 by Richard Essex]
“Gruesome details are emerging in the death of the Delaware County 5-year-old. According to a probable cause affidavit, the young child was found lying on her back in the kitchen with open sores on her swollen hands. Additionally, the girl had odd markings on her body.”
“The pair told investigators neither of them were present at the home at the time of the incident.
The only people at home at the time of the homicide were four other juveniles, ranging in age from 5 to 16-years old.”
[WISH TV 6/24/13 by WISH and Associated Press]
“Delaware County Coroner Scott Hahn told The Star Press the 5-year-old victim – whose identity is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification – suffered “multiple acute injuries,” but can’t yet point to the exact cause of death.
An autopsy was performed on the girl Monday at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie.
“She’s got very obvious injuries that would’ve required medical attention,” Hahn said.
Court documents released Monday indicated the girl was found late Saturday at 1004 N. Brady St. in Muncie with multiple injuries, including sores, markings, cuts and possible fractures.
According to the reports, the victim had, among other injuries, open sores and swelling to her hands, a possibly broken pinky finger, “odd markings” on both of her nipples “which appear to have been pinched … by a pair of pliers or another rectangular object,” an open blister on her right ankle and a possible skull fracture.
Hahn said the autopsy showed the victim, however, did not have any broken bones. He also said a rape kit performed on the girl indicated she was not sexually assaulted.
Arrested early Sunday were Marcus and Charlene Tabb, who face preliminary charges of neglect of a dependent causing serious bodily injury, a Class B felony carrying a standard 10-year prison term. The Tabbs are, at this time, being considered the girl’s caretakers and are being held without bond at the Delaware County jail.
According to probable cause affidavits for the Tabbs’ arrest, officers were called to the residence at 1004 N. Brady St. about 11:20 p.m. Saturday in reference to a 5-year-old girl “lying on her back in the kitchen/dining area … unresponsive and not breathing.”
According to the report, Marcus and Charlene Tabb had “voluntarily assumed care” of the 5-year-old girl because her father “had abandoned her.” Deputy Coroner Jim Clevenger on Sunday told The Star Press the girl was reportedly Haitian, and that her biological mother was believed to be in Haiti at the time of her death.”
[The Indianapolis Star 6/24/13 by Andrew Walker]
“Investigators said the girl’s hands were swollen and that several cuts were infected.
They said it appears as though someone used pliers to pinch the girl in several locations. Her socks were soaked with blood and investigators also found evidence of a skull fracture.”
[Fox 59 6/24/13 by Reba Chenoweth]
“Officials say Charlene Tabb is the cousin of the deceased girl.
The pair told investigators neither of them were present at the home at the time of the incident.
The only people at home at the time of the homicide were four other juveniles, ranging in age from 5 to 16-years old. Officials do not yet know what the relationship between the children is.”
[WISH TV 6/24/13 by WISH and Associated Press]
REFORM Puzzle Piece
Update: “Delaware County Coroner Scott Hahn has released the name of a 5-year-old girl found dead in Muncie Saturday night.
The victim, Marie Sadlyne B. Pierre, was born Nov. 17, 2007, in Haiti, according to Hahn.
Local authorities believe Pierre was tortured in the final months of her life before she was found dead in her Muncie home Saturday.
An autopsy conducted Monday confirmed Pierre had suffered multiple devastating injuries – both recently and in the past few months, according to Hahn – before officers discovered her lying unresponsive in the kitchen area of her home at 1004 N. Brady St.
Hahn has since classified Pierre’s death as a homicide, though the official cause of death remains under investigation.”
“Police and prosecutor officials are also looking at the possible criminal involvement of other children in the house – ranging in age from 5 to 16 years old – at the time of Pierre’s death. Two juveniles – a 11-year-old female and a 14-year-old male – were charged Wednesday in juvenile court for aggravated battery in connection to Pierre’s abuse.
Investigators were also hoping to get more information about how Pierre came under the care of the Tabbs, who, according to court documents and police officials, had “voluntarily assumed care” of the 5-year-old girl in July 2012 because her father “had abandoned her.”"
” An 11-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy have been charged in juvenile court with aggravated battery in the death of a 5-year-old Muncie girl.
The girl, identified so far by police and in court documents only as “M.P.,” was found Saturday unresponsive at 1004 N. Brady St. She was pronounced dead shortly after.
The children charged today are siblings of Charlene Tabb, who was arrested with her husband, Marcus Tabb, early Sunday, and preliminarily charged with neglect of a dependent causing death, a Class A felony. The Tabbs were unofficial guardians of “M.P.,” according to documents.
Authorities say the young defendants attacked the girl, who was their cousin, with pliers, hammer, belt and screwdrivers, among other items. Police said the victim’s body had more than 80 marks or injuries.
The defendants told police that some of the assaults were ordered by their older sister, defendant Charlene Tabb.”
[The Star Press 6/26/13 by Douglas Walker and Andrew Walker]
“Less than three days after a 5-year-old Muncie girl was found dead in the home’s kitchen area, Phillips told The Star Press that he was having a hard time believing Marcus and Charlene Tabb — the victim’s alleged caretakers — could be responsible for inflicting or allowing the tortuous pain the child’s autopsy results showed she had endured.
“They really seemed like really nice people,” Phillips said of the Tabbs. “I would not have expected it at all from them, honestly.”
The Tabbs were being held Tuesday without bond at the Delaware County jail, preliminarily charged with neglect of a dependent causing death, a Class A felony carrying a standard 30-year prison term. Police said four other juveniles in the house at the time of the girl’s death have since been placed into the custody of Child Protective Services officials.
Phillips said he had never encountered any children at the North Brady Street home since listing it through Re/Max about four months ago. He said trying to sell the house — at least now — was pointless.
“I had one showing here and I came by and there was nobody in there,” Phillips said as he loaded the for-sale sign into the trunk of his car. “There’s some pictures on the wall of kids, but I never saw any.”
Down the street at a duplex at 913 E. Brady St., neighbors were still expressing shock about the girl’s death, which on Monday was ruled a homicide by Delaware County Coroner Scott Hahn.
Brittany Wortham — herself the mother of a 5-year-old girl — said the incident, which was first reported by The Star Press, “just hits too close to home.”
“I’ve stayed up thinking about it,” Wortham said Tuesday morning from her porch. “That’s sad to hear, how you can live somewhere and people would be getting hurt and you wouldn’t even know.”
Wortham and her nephew, Tony Hines, 13, said they would often see two children — a teenage girl and a preteen boy — emerge from the house at 1004 N. Brady St., but they never saw a 5-year-old girl since Wortham moved in seven months ago.
The victim — identified in documents and by police only by her initials, M.P. — had suffered injuries that Hahn said were numerous in nature and had occurred both recently and within the past few months. Among the girl’s injuries listed by Muncie police Detective Richard Howell included open sores and swelling to both of her hands, an open blister on her right ankle and “odd markings” on both of her nipples “which appear to have been pinched … by a pair of pliers or another rectangular object,” according to the report.
If found guilty, Wortham believes the Tabbs should be subject to eye-for-an-eye treatment.
“I think they need to beat them just like they beat that little girl,” Wortham said. “That’s just unacceptable.”
But most disappointing, according to Wortham, was the fact a little girl her own daughter’s age had her life cut short before even spending her first day in elementary school.
“She’s a little kid,” Wortham said. “She didn’t even get to live her life. It’s so sad and ridiculous how people can be so cruel to kids like that.”
Local law enforcement on Tuesday continued their probe into the girl’s death, but had little in the way of further details about where the 5-year-old came from, her relationship to the Tabbs and who the other children in the house were or how they were involved.
According to court documents and police officials, Marcus and Charlene Tabb had “voluntarily assumed care” of the 5-year-old girl — Charlene’s cousin — in July 2012 because the girl’s father “had abandoned her.” Deputy Coroner Jim Clevenger on Sunday told The Star Press the girl was reportedly Haitian, and that her biological mother was believed to be in Haiti at the time of her death. Stewart said officers had also gotten in touch with some of the girl’s relatives in Miami, Fla.
Muncie police Chief Steve Stewart said Tuesday detectives were still “doing a lot of background work on the individuals involved.”
“We don’t know at this point in time,” Stewart said about the victim’s connection to Florida and Haiti. “It’s part of the investigation that’s evolving.”
Marcus and Charlene Tabb both told officers they were at work — and not at home — Saturday night. According to the probable cause documents, a 14-year-old in the home called Marcus Tabb “and stated something was wrong.” Tabb said he then picked up his wife from work and the couple drove home, where they found the girl “unconscious and not breathing” before calling 911.
An employee at PolyOne — formerly Spartech — at 1401 E. Memorial Drive in Muncie on Tuesday confirmed Charlene Tabb was at their East Memorial Drive facility Saturday evening, and that she has been an employee there for 10 years. A LinkedIn account listed under Charlene Tabb’s maiden name, Charlene Gercilus, lists her as a “quality analyst” at the company.
The PolyOne employee also confirmed Tabb was still employed by the company.
On Tuesday, red “evidence” tape was visible on the door at Marcus Tabb’s apparent workplace at 110 E. Sixth St. — referred to as “Skylight Villas LLC” in court documents. Stewart said the property was being considered “part of the crime scene,” but would not elaborate.
“There was a search warrant executed there,” he said.
Police and prosecutor’s office officials on Tuesday were also trying to determine the background of Marcus and Charlene Tabb, both of whom appear to have backgrounds in the Miami, Fla., area.
A Facebook profile listed for Charlene Gercilus indicates she is a graduate of Coral Reef High School on 152nd Street in Miami. A speeding ticket issued to Marcus Tabb in Delaware County in June 2004, meanwhile, listed his home address as Opa Locka, Fla., a suburb just north of Miami.
Since that time, both Charlene and Marcus Tabb have been active in buying properties in Delaware County. Online property records indicate Charlene Tabb — under her maiden name — currently owns nine properties in Muncie, including the house at 1004 N. Brady St. and the property listed as Skylight Villas LLC on East Sixth Street.
Marcus Tabb, meanwhile, owns seven properties in Muncie, including two on North Elm Street and one each on East Russey, South Penn, South Hackley, South Walnut and West Howard streets.
Phillips said Tuesday he believed Marcus Tabb rehabilitated homes in the area.
“He bought houses and worked on them,” Phillips said Tuesday. “I know because he told me, ‘I’m interested in buying houses if you find any deals on any.’”
With so many questions left unanswered Tuesday, Stewart said he hopes detectives start getting the answers they need — and soon.
“It’s a very complex case,” the chief said.”
[The Star Press 6/26/13 byAndrew Walker]
Update 2: “The defendants — a 14-year-old boy and his 11-year-old sister — were charged in Delaware County’s juvenile court system with aggravated battery.
The juveniles charged Wednesday with abusing the girl — with a hammer, pliers, screwdriver and a leather belt, among other items — are Charlene Tabb’s younger siblings, and also lived at the home.
Charlene and Marcus Tabb were arrested Sunday on preliminary charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in death.
Testimony at Wednesday’s proceedings in juvenile court indicated the defendants told police that some of their attacks on their young cousin had been launched at the request of Charlene Tabb.
Delaware County Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold said after Wednesday’s hearing that he had not yet decided whether additional charges, such as murder, might be filed against any of the defendants — juveniles or adults — now in custody.
“We’re looking at all our options,” he said.
Those present at Wednesday’s hearing, in a courtroom at the westside Youth Opportunity Center, included the parents of the juvenile defendants, who shed tears, and the father of Marie Pierre, who remained composed.
Members of the extended family are from Miami, Fla., and Haiti, authorities said, and some speak little or no English.
Brian Pierce, master commissioner in the juvenile court, said he would arrange for a Creole-speaking interpreter to attend future hearings to assist in communicating with the parents.
Perhaps as a result of the language barrier, authorities said they still did not have a clear understanding of why Marie was staying with the Tabbs.
The juveniles appeared before Pierce in separate proceedings Wednesday afternoon, handcuffed and with their wrists secured to their torsos with chains.
Both told the court commissioner they spoke and read English. Attorney Ron McShurley was appointed as the 11-year-old girl’s public defender, while former judge Alan Wilson will fill the same role for her older brother.
“I know at 11, some of this is somewhat difficult to understand,” Pierce told the girl as he explained the proceedings to her.
The girl moved little during her time in a defendant’s chair in the center of the courtroom, her back to the gallery. Her brother, who wasn’t led into the courtroom until his sister had departed, occasionally cast glances at the few spectators behind him.
Prosecutor Arnold, at a table with Muncie Police Chief Steve Stewart, presented the testimony of a city police sergeant, Jimmy Gibson, to establish probable cause to hold the juveniles.
Gibson said police had taken statements from four juveniles — the two defendants, their 16-year-old sister and another 5-year-old girl who had been staying with the Tabbs — in gathering information about the abuse that dated back “at least into May.”
The juveniles indicated Marie was repeatedly punished for “bad behavior,” Gibson said, that included vomiting, urinating on the floor and “smarting off.”
Medical examiners found more than 80 “abuse marks” on Marie’s body, Gibson said.
While Delaware County Coroner Scott Hahn has ruled the girl’s death a homicide, authorities have not yet specified which of her injuries caused her death.
The juvenile defendants’ parents — who arrived at the YOC in the company of the victim’s father and another couple — sat at a table with the defense attorneys and court-appointed advocates for their children.
Pierce ruled both the girl and her brother would be held in the Delaware County Juvenile Detention Center for the time being. Both McShurley and Wilson declined to offer testimony from their clients.
For an adult, aggravated battery is a Class B felony carrying a maximum 20-year prison term. If found guilty of the allegations in juvenile court, the young defendants could remain in custody until their 21st birthdays.
Formal charges against the Tabbs are expected to be filed this week.”
[The Indianapolis Star 6/26/13 by Andrew Walker]
” A Muncie couple on Friday were formally charged in connection with the June 22 death of a 5-year-old girl in their northeastside home.
Charlene Tabb, 29, and Marcus Marcellus Tabb, 53, both of 1000 N. Brady St., are each charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Class A felony carrying a standard 30-year prison term.
Initial hearings are set for July 8 in Delaware Circuit Court 5. Delaware County Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold said Friday he did not rule out filing additional charges.”
“Department of Family Services investigators told police they had found no indication Marie had been seen or treated by any local physicians.The little girl’s body is being returned to Florida for burial, local authorities said. Her family members are said to be from the Miami area and Haiti.”
Tabbs formally charged in child’s death
[The Star Press 6/28/13 by Douglas Walker]
“Charlene Tabb, 29, was the target of an attack by a fellow female inmate, according to Jail Commander Christopher Hoose, a lieutenant with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.
Hoose said he was not sure what sparked the attack, but said the aggressor — whose name is not being released — hit Tabb over the head with a “sock with something inside of it” Wednesday in the jail. The lieutenant told The Star Press on Thursday he did not know what item was in the sock.
After the incident, Tabb — who was deemed uninjured after seeing a jail nurse, according to Hoose — and her husband, Marcus Tabb, 53, requested and were granted protective custody at the jail. The couple will be limited to no contact with members of the general population, Hoose said.
The woman accused of attacking Tabb, meanwhile, was placed into “lockdown,” according to Hoose.”
“The Tabbs continued to be held without bond Thursday at the Delaware County jail.”
[The Indianapolis Star 6/28/13 by Andrew Walker]
“A Delaware Circuit Court judge scheduled a Nov. 4 trial date Monday for Marcus Tabb and set his bond set at $300,000.
Charlene Tabb was ordered held on a $500,000 bond, pending a Dec. 9 trial date”
[WLS TV 7/9/13 by Associated Press]
Update 4: “An eastern Indiana coroner is awaiting test results to determine exactly what killed a 5-year-old Haitian girl six weeks ago in Muncie.
Delaware County authorities have alleged say Marie Pierre was repeatedly beaten and at times attacked with tools at the Muncie home before she died June 22. But Coroner Scott Hahn tells The Star Press he won’t know the exact cause until tests are completed.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the girl was found to have “multiple untreated injuries,” including cuts and lacerations in multiple stages of healing.
Fifty-three-year-old Marcus Tabb and his 30-year-old wife, Charlene Tabb, have pleaded not guilty to a charge of neglect of a dependent. Marcus Tabb was being held Saturday on $300,000 bond while Charlene Tabb was being held on $500,000 bond.”
Update 5:”A Muncie woman has been convicted of murder in the beating death of her five-year-old cousin.
The Muncie Star-Press reports a Delaware County jury found Charlene Tabb, 30, guilty of murder and neglect of a dependent resulting in death in the June 22 death of Marie Pierre.
Pierre is originally from Haiti, but came to Indiana when her father stopped caring for her. Tabb and her husband, Marcus, volunteered to watch the girl.
Prosecutors also charged Marcus Tabb with neglect, saying the couple never sought medical attention for the girl, even though she had at least 80 documented injuries. Two other children in the Tabb’s home were also arrested. They reportedly attacked the girl with a hammer, pliers and a screwdriver.
Tabb was also found guilty of five counts of battery with a deadly weapon on three younger siblings, then ages 11, 14 and 16. She was convicted on three counts of neglect of a dependent related to her care of those children.
“We have spent the last two weeks presenting evidence of a look into hell,” Delaware County Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold told the Star-Press. “Thank goodness justice prevailed and Marie’s voice was not forever silenced.”
The murder conviction carries a standard sentence of 55 years in prison. The neglect and battery charges carry 30-year prison terms.”
Update 6:“Opening arguments in the trial of a man charged in the torture death of a 5-year-old girl are expected to begin Tuesday.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys interviewed potential jurors Monday in an effort to seat the jury that will decide the fate of Marcus Tabb.
Tabb and his wife, Charlene Tabb, were arrested in June 2013 within hours of the death of her 5-year-old cousin, Marie Pierre.
Marie, a native of Haiti, had spent her final months living with the Tabbs, until she was found dead on the floor of their North Brady Street home. Investigators said the girl had been beaten, tortured with tools and burned; medical examiners found more than 80 “abuse marks” on Marie’s body.
Charlene Tabb’s siblings, then ages 14 and 11, are alleged to have caused most of Marie’s injuries, purportedly at their sister’s direction.
Marcus Tabb faces charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, three counts of neglect of a dependent, five counts of aiding, inducing or causing battery with a deadly weapon and battery resulting in bodily injury.
In early July, Charlene Tabb was sentenced to 87 years in prison after being convicted earlier of murder in Marie Pierre’s death, as well as neglect of a dependent resulting in death, five counts of battery with a deadly weapon and three other neglect charges stemming from abuse of her younger siblings, then ages 11, 14 and 16.
Later that month, Marcus requested a change of venue because of “extensive local coverage” in The Star Press of his wife’s two-week-long trial.
Part of the evidence presented at Charlene’s trial consisted of videos, all but one of them recorded by Marcus, that showed Charlene angrily berating her 13- and 16-year-old siblings and severely beating them with an electrical cord she had fashioned into a whip.
Delaware County Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold and Deputy Prosecutor Eric Hoffman represented the state during Monday’s jury selection. Marcus’ defense attorney is Ross G. Thomas of Indianapolis.”
Second trial in child’s death begins[The Star press 10/21/14 by Keith Roysdon and Robin Gibson]