Mother enters plea in physical abuse of infant; father still to stand trial

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WATERVILLE — An East Wenatchee mother pleaded guilty last week to complicity to child abuse that left her infant with multiple broken bones.

In her plea, Laura Elaine McCarver, 32, said she was merely an accomplice to the crime that left the five-week-old with a broken shinbone, a skull fracture, and multiple broken ribs, and prosecutors are seeking a more severe conviction for the child’s father.

McCarver pleaded guilty Friday to third-degree assault of a child and criminal mistreatment in the baby’s March 2020 injury, as well as delivery of methamphetamine for a drug crime that occurred in 2019. She also pleaded guilty to one count of contempt of court, for repeatedly contacting the baby’s father and for providing unsupervised care at home to multiple children, while she was under court orders to do neither.

Judge Brian Huber sentenced McCarver to a total of 36 months in prison, with court-ordered addiction treatment. She is barred from contact with her child until 2032.

Douglas County sheriff’s deputies believe the child’s father, 37-year-old Tyler Vance Metcalfe of Cashmere, primarily committed the abuse, and that McCarver failed to seek timely medical care for the boy. The baby was injured March 29, 2020, at a home on home on Nelson Place in East Wenatchee.

When investigators probed the incident, they said, Metcalfe initially claimed the child was hurt by accidentally rolling off a bed. Medical professionals said the injuries were consistent with physical abuse.

Metcalfe faces trial later this month on charges of first-degree child assault and criminal mistreatment.