May 26, 2024

Allen found guilty of aggravated endangering a child in malnutrition case

Garden City, KS(westernkansasnews.com) Wednesday night the jury reached a verdict in the Elias Allen child abuse trial. Allen was found not guilty of child abuse, but was found guilty of aggravated child endangerment.

Aggravated endangering a child is recklessly causing or permitting a child under the age of 18 years to be placed in a situation in which the child’s life, body or health may be endangered.

Allen faced the charges after his girlfriend, Kiala Pollman’s, two year old son was admitted to Children’s Mercy Hospital in August 2016 for severe malnutrition. Pollman took a guilty plea last week and testified Monday that Allen treated all three of the kids in their home well and the same. The child has down syndrome and needed a feeding tube to eat at the time.

Wednesday Assistant Finney County Attorney Tamra Hicks called Liza Murray, a Pediatrician at Mercy to testify. Murray testified that when the child was admitted to Mercy his conditions were life threatening. When Murray saw the two year old child on Sep 3, 2016 he weighed 10 lbs. 5 oz., which is about the size of a two to four month old usually.

Murray also said the child’s temperature was 92 degrees and that his heart rate was just 52, when it should have been around 100. The child is now in his grandmothers care and is doing much better. The feeding tube has been removed and at his last appointment in Sept. 2017 they actually cut back on his calorie intake.

Defense Attorney Cheryl Stewart called two family friends and Allen’s mother to testify. The family friends Kristina Ordenal and Jason Wilson both said they saw Allen with the child often and that he was attentive and caring with the boy. They both also said the child always seemed happy.

Allen’s mother, Christine Allen, said that she would keep the child at times and that he was a good baby and would roll around all over the floor. Allen also indicated that during the early summer of 2016 they noticed the child was losing weight and acknowledged they should get him to a doctor.

During the closing arguments defense attorney Stewart said that everybody perceives the world through their own experiences. She said Allen and Pollman were doing the best they could and there was no punishment or torture of the child. She also noted that Allen had no authority on the child’s doctor visits because he isn’t the father and asked how they were supposed to know it was that dire.

During the prosecutions closing argument by Hicks she noted Pollman and Allen were lying about keeping appointments with doctors. She also stated that they were instructed to only feed the child by tube until told otherwise and they fed him by mouth at times. Hicks finished by saying that Allen neglected the child because he didn’t want the responsibility or because it wasn’t his biological child.

The trial will resume Thursday morning at 9 a.m. when the jury will determine if Allen will get a harsher sentence than usual. Aggravated Child Endangerment is a level 9 person felony that usually carries a 5 to 17 month sentence, usually on probation and up to a $100,000 fine. The sentencing date will be set on Thursday. Pollman’s sentencing will be March 6 at 1 p.m.