Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, Nov. 13 newspaper on Page A1.

Seven people were arrested early in the morning on Nov. 7 on felony warrants out of Vinton County for various alleged offenses against minors, the Vinton County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office reported.

Multiple defendants were recently indicted by the Grand Jury. Some of those indicted include Nicholas Bethel, of Ray; Lacey Grant, of Ray; Tyler May, 22, of McArthur; Savannah Peoples, 24, of McArthur; Mark Thompson, 24, of McArthur; Hannah Beckett, 23, of West Virginia, formerly of McArthur; Tyler Rucker, of Jackson County.

Bethel was indicted with three counts of felonious assault, all felonies of the second degree; six counts of endangering children, all felonies of the third degree; and one count of permitting child abuse, a third-degree felony.

Grant was indicted with two counts of endangering children, both second-degree felonies, and one count permitting child abuse, a third-degree felony.

May was indicted with two counts of felonious assault, both felonies of the second degree; two counts of endangering children, both felonies of the third degree; one count of tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree; one count of permitting child abuse, a felony of the third degree, one count of obstructing justice, a felony of the fifth degree; one count of falsification, a misdemeanor of the first degree and one count of obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor.

Peoples was indicted with one count of felonious assault, a felony of the second degree; two counts of endangering children, both felonies of the third degree; on count of tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree; one count of permitting child abuse, a felony of the third degree; one count of obstructing justice, a felony of the fifth degree; one count of falsification, a misdemeanor of the first degree; one count of obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor.

Thompson was indicted with one count of involuntary manslaughter, a felony of the first degree; one count of endangering children, a felony of the third degree; one degree of reckless homicide, a felony of the third degree and one count of permitting child abuse, a felony of the third degree.

Beckett was indicted with one count of endangering children, a felony of the third degree; one count of permitting child abuse, a felony of the third degree; one count of obstructing justice, a felony of the fifth degree; one count of falsification, a misdemeanor of the first degree; one count of obstructing official business, a misdemeanor of the second degree.

Rucker was indicted with one count of illegal use of minor in nudity oriented material, a fourth-degree felony.

Many agencies were involved in the arrests, including Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and its Crimes Against Children Unit; the FBI; the United States Marshalls’ Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (SOFAST) and the Vinton County Sheriff’s Office.

The Prosecutor’s office provided details on a few of the cases that were discussed by the Grand Jury.

Because the cases involve minors and are still under investigation, the names of their guardians were not specifically linked to the case descriptions.

In one case, a three-month old male was taken to the hospital after a 911 call that the child was non-responsive. Medical professionals reportedly determined that the child had many rib fractures, brain hemorrhages and broken clavicles.

In another case, a three-week old male was taken to the hospital after a 911 call that the child was non-responsive. Medical staff reportedly determined that the child had very serious facial burns, multiple fractures of the ribs, arms and femur.

In both of the incidents, doctors reportedly indicated that these were non-accidental injuries, according to the Vinton County Prosecutor’s office.

In a third case, an eight-month old male was taken to the hospital after a 911 call that the child was non-responsive. This child was later pronounced dead at Holzer Hospital.

All three of the described cases were under investigation by Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Crimes Against Children Unit.

Bail hearings were held for all seven defendants on Friday, Nov. 8, with assigned bonds ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. At the time of publication, no defendant had posted bail and remains incarcerated. All cases will proceed in the Court of Common Pleas.

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