A twisted mother allegedly torturing her 16-week-old son sounds like an introduction to a horrific crime thriller, but it's not. Twelve of a Raleigh baby's ribs, and both scapula bones, were broken after the child was reportedly bitten and abused by the same person who is suppose to love him. The prosecution points at his biological mother, Mary Martin Peele, who wants to mount a defense.
The entire story brings the word "psychotic" to mind. "Why" comes second. An infection could hinder recovery, permanently injure or kill a child this young. As much as 15% of human bite victims suffer infection.
The accused bone-breaking biter may require a "dream team" musket defense attorney with a "dream child" line. According to ABC-11 News, the Peele actually has one.
Defense attorney Damon Chetson told the court that the baby was more less a miracle baby. A "dream child." But that may not be enough to win over the judge, the jury, the prosecution, or even the old lady in room 1220. Peele has some explaining to do involving the baby's injuries. The baby was admitted to WakeMed July 19. Doctors blew the whistle on Mommy Dearest.
Charged with felony child abuse (one count/inflicting injury) and misdemeanor child abuse (one count), Peele's bond was (past tense) set at $250,000. A judge hiked bond to $400,000. There's no confirmation as to what spiked those numbers, but flight risk is possible.
The news of the abuse took Raleigh-area residents by shock. "Woman bites baby" is a rare headline.
Who...or what...if not the mother?
Sometimes animal owners go to all lengths to protect their dogs, even when they are vicious. Sometimes mothers protect all children, even when one has been injured. Sometimes wives protect husbands, even if a child is harmed. And sometimes mothers protect themselves, even if it means throwing a child under the bus...in this case, the "bus" implies Peele's teeth.
Note: Doctors would have suggested an animal bite if the marks had matched that of an animal. But they were from a different type of animal. An inhumane human.
Time may offer more information, but as for now the mother claims she didn't do it. Prosecuting attorneys claim she did.
The baby is in recovery, healing the broken ribs and broken shoulder bones. Unfortunately for the little guy, he may be scared of something for the rest of his life and be clueless as to why or remember even what. Or, he could bite himself, or others, because he was wired by experience. For now, Raleighites hope for the best.
As for Peele, the alleged biological nightmare, she'll have plenty of time to come up with defense strategies and bits of "feel-good mommy" memories -- from behind a jail cell.
Just be happy the judge has upped the ante on Peele's bond. Make no bones about it, judge Jacqueline Brewer is not biting all of Peele's story.
Related: ABC-11 News, "Mother Charged With Biting Child"