Date published: 10/22/2010
BY KEITH EPPS
When 15-month-old Ryan Schutt was brought to Stafford Hospital last month, he had an astonishing number of injuries.
He had a skull fracture, bleeding in the brain, two black eyes, and numerous bruises and scratches all over his body. He had recently suffered a broken arm.
"This is a child who was tortured, and tortured over time," prosecutor Eric Olsen said in a preliminary hearing yesterday in Stafford Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
Ryan's mother, Carrie Woods, 23, and her live-in boyfriend, 35-year-old William Burd III, are both charged with felony child abuse and felony child neglect.
Judge Julian Johnson sent the charges to a Stafford grand jury at the end of yesterday's hearing.
According to the evidence, the Sheriff's Office got a 911 call late Sept. 19 about a baby in distress.
Rescue workers met Woods near her home in Aquia Harbour and took the child for medical care.
Doctors determined that Ryan was possibly the victim of shaken baby syndrome, and it was initially thought that the child might die.
But according to Olsen, the baby has made good progress in his recovery and is now in foster care.
Pat Smidt, a child protective services worker in Stafford, testified that Woods gave several possible reasons for the numerous marks on the baby's body.
She said the family had an aggressive puppy that may have scratched the child, and she has a 3-year-old son who was mean to the baby.
In addition, Smidt said, Woods said the baby fell out of his crib that night while he was being watched by his grandmother.
Medical professionals told police that the child's injuries were too severe to have been caused by a small child or a fall from a crib.
Smidt said Woods also admitted that she knew Burd was a registered sex offender before she and her four children moved in with him.
The key witness against Burd yesterday was an inmate at the Rappahannock Regional Jail who shared a cell with him for a few days.
Olsen asked that the inmate's name not be used because he could face repercussions from fellow inmates.
The inmate, who has pending drug charges in King George, testified that Burd told him that he and Woods were using multiple drugs that night, including methamphetamines, Oxycontin and Vicodin.
According to the story, the baby wouldn't stop crying that night so Burd went to tend to him. Burd dropped the baby, whose head hit on a table, the inmate said.
After putting the baby back in his crib, Burd resumed the drug party.
Defense attorneys Jim Ilijevich and John Mayoras attacked the inmate's credibility, suggesting that the five-time felon came forward in hopes of getting leniency in his pending case.
"When there's no evidence, someone comes from the side door," Ilijevich said, referring to the door from which inmates enter the courtroom.
The inmate said he contacted the Stafford prosecutor's office because "it was the right thing to do."