MARION COUNTY — Bail was set Wednesday in Marion County Court at a quarter-million dollars for a 30-year-old Centralia woman accused of causing second-degree burns on her 7-month-old baby.
Stacie Bender was formally charged Wednesday with Class X felony aggravated battery to a child under the age of 13 resulting in permanent disability.
Bender was arrested Monday by Centralia police who were following up on an earlier domestic battery complaint she had filed against the baby’s father, 36-year-old Anthony Johnston.
She had reported to police that Johnston had stabbed her behind the ear with a pair of scissors. He wasn’t at the Walnut Street home when officers were on scene but was later arrested.
While at the home on the follow-up, one officer noted Bender was acting strangely and was trying to shield the baby from the officer’s view. The Officer then observed a mark on the 7-month-old child; this led the officer to conduct a closer inspection of the apparent injury.
The officer then reportedly discovered two severe burn marks on the child’s side that required immediate medical attention. DCFS took immediate custody of the child and took him to seek medical treatment.
It was determined by medical personnel that the 7-month-old baby had received second-degree burns on two separate locations on its side, from some type of open flame placed against its side.
According to Centralia Police Chief Greg Dodson, text messages obtained by the investigating officers revealed both Bender and her mother, 58-year-old Nancy Candler, were aware of the baby’s injuries and both failed to seek medical attention for the child.
Candler was formally charged Wednesday in Marion County Court with misdemeanor causing a child to be endangered. Her bail was set at $2,000 and she’s next scheduled to appear in court April 24.
If Bender is able to post bond, she’s prohibited from having contact with the minor child or anyone under the age of 18. She is next scheduled to appear in court March 24 for a preliminary hearing and first appearance with her public defender.
Johnston remains in the Marion County Jail on a DOC hold but has not yet been charged in connection with Monday’s events.