Couple accused of abusing infants
MORGANTON, N.C. -- Two Morganton parents are behind bars accused of abusing their infant twins.
Ernest Bilton, 36, and Juanita Brown, 22, have each been charged with two counts of felony child abuse.
Authorities say the 4-month-old children -- a boy and girl -- were abused for an extended period of time, causing severe injuries to their heads, ribs and legs.
"Multiple fractures," said Detective David Curry with Morganton police.
Police say the two infants were born premature and spent two months in the hospital after they were born. Police say they believe the abuse started as soon as they were taken home.
Brown told police the injuries were caused by accidental falls. But, investigators say, 4-month-olds don't walk.
"Four-month-olds don't crawl either," Curry said. "You just couldn't do that from a baby dropping out of your arms. This took a little effort."
A social worker called police when the couple took the baby girl to an Asheville hospital with a severe head injury.
The Burke County Department of Social Services now has custody of both infants. The girl is still in the hospital, recovering after emergency head surgery.
"It makes you ask how? How can parents reach that point that they lash out this severely onto defenseless 4-month-old?" Curry said.
Police say Bilton and Brown have seven other kids between them, but none lived with them. Friends say DSS took them, too.
NewsChannel 36 called DSS for more information, but no one returned our calls.
Both parents are due in court Friday.