A Sandy Ridge couple has been charged with crimes that have resulted in the biggest bond ever seen in Stokes County. They are accused of plotting to murder their three-month-old son and have been issued secured bonds of $10 million apiece.
On Thursday, May 27, William Dean Plaster Jr., 38, of 2542 Amostown Road, Sandy Ridge, and Shannon Audrey Casey Fortenberry, 37, of the same address, were arrested and charged with Attempted First Degree Murder, Assault With A Deadly Weapon With Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury, Felony Child Abuse and Child Abuse Inflicting Serious Injury.
Plaster and Fortenberry are unmarried but live together. The abused child was theirs. Plaster has two children apart from Fortenberry, and she has four by another partner.
According to Plaster who was home at the time of the injury to the infant, the baby sustained the injuries by falling off a couch. Fortenberry says she does not know what happened; it is undetermined whether or not she was home when the infant was harmed.
These arrests and charges were a result of an investigation conducted by the Stokes County Sheriff’s Department and NC State Bureau of Investigation. The investigation ensued after the young infant was taken by the parents, who did not call 911, to Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden on April 22.
After medical personnel at that facility examined the child and found him to be unresponsive, they called for him to be transported by air to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
Doctors at Baptist determined that the infant had suffered various broken ribs, a broken right leg and severe head trauma. The head injury resulted in retinal and brain hemorrhaging. The final medical diagnosis was non-accidental head trauma.
The Stokes County Sheriff’s Department was called by officials at Morehead Hospital when foul play was suspected. By then, the baby was already at Baptist Hospital.
Currently, officials at Baptist report that the baby is in a vegetative state with a very negative prognosis. He has been taken off life support and continues to survive, but doctors do not expect him to progress. At this time, it is undetermined exactly how the injury took place.
The mother of the child has no prior convictions, but the dad has previously been charged with assault on a female.
Both Plaster and Fortenberry, each with a $10 million secured bond, have a scheduled first court appearance of Wednesday, June 16.