The Ottumwa Courier

June 14, 2013

Bail adjusted in toddler assault case

By MARK NEWMAN
Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — A man accused of seriously injuring a two-year-old child may find it easier to make bail while waiting for his trial.

Dustin Dewayne Armstrong, 19, has been held in Wapello County Jail on multiple charges, including child endangerment, a Class B felony, and willful injury, a Class C felony. Initial bail was set at $50,000 cash-only.

On Friday, Armstrong appeared in magistrate court at the Wapello County Courthouse. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing, as well as to a bail hearing. The defense and the prosecution, however, appear to have worked out an agreement, then met in the judges chambers. Though no hearing was conducted, the judge did issue a written order: The bail amount is still $50,000, however the stipulation "cash only" has been removed and replaced with "10 percent to court is acceptable."

There were three additional requirements in the agreement: If Armstrong raises the $5,000, he is required to immediately check in with the Iowa Department of Corrections; he is not to have contact with any person under age 12 unless a parent is present; and he is to have no contact with the alleged victim.

Iowa Courts Online records show the accused as having no previous felonies.

On April 22, Ottumwa police officers investigating an incident on East Woodland Avenue found a 2-year-old toddler unresponsive. Emergency room staff said he had "traumatic head injuries," so he was flown to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Initial interviews with the toddler's mother, Lauren Young, and her boyfriend, Armstrong, led an Ottumwa investigator to question Armstrong's account of events.

Ottumwa Police Chief Tom McAndrew was unable to disclose information contained in the child's medical reports due to privacy laws.

— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark.