Three months after their arrests in connection to a grievous child abuse case, Melvin W. Bledsoe and Joy T. Anderson remain in Kootenai County jail.
Bledsoe and Anderson, half-siblings accused of severely beating, starving and tying up Bledsoe’s 6-year-old son in the Post Falls area, both were charged with felony injury to a child in October. During the abuse investigation, according to court documents, detectives uncovered information to support charging the two with incest.
Bledsoe’s and Anderson’s bonds have been set at $200,000 and $75,000.
Anderson, 30, and Bledsoe, 27, have pleaded not guilty.
According to Post Falls police, the boy, whom Bledsoe and Anderson took to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in October, was suffering from a split pancreas and had scars and scabs all over his body. The boy had several fresh wounds, dried blood on his body, ulcers on his legs and a cauliflower ear, police said.
Bledsoe and Anderson are accused of delaying the child’s treatment when he had life-threatening injuries. Both alleged abusers face maximum sentences of life in prison.
“(The child) was hiding food, was requesting the foster mom bring food and had many indicators that he was starved for some time,” prosecuting attorney Laura McLinton said in a court hearing. “He was eating household items, including a pillow, because he didn’t have food.”
The child, who was primarily home-schooled, according to court files, quickly gained 5 pounds after he was sent to the hospital, McLinton said. He is in protective care.
This isn’t the first time Bledsoe has been accused of abusing the boy.
In 2012, Bledsoe pleaded guilty to felony injury of a child after slapping the boy, who was then 9 months old, according to court records. Child Protective Services temporarily took the baby from him, according to records.
In the 2012 case, Anderson, a married mother of three at the time, lived with Bledsoe and testified against him.
In the 2017 abuse case, Anderson and Bledsoe told police that the boy sustained his injuries from being “clumsy,” saying he crashed his bike, fell down the stairs and also fell on a rock at a park.
A former neighbor in Rathdrum told police the boy often was lying face down on the bed with ropes tied around his wrists, the police report said. The same neighbor said he sometimes witnessed Bledsoe picking up the boy and throwing him into a wall.