November 1, 2014

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Father pleads not guilty to charges

LORAIN — Corey Craig, the 19-year-old Lorain man who was charged with child endangering and domestic violence after his daughter suffered a severely broken arm and bruised face, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and he was ordered to stay away from the hospital.

Craig appeared Thursday in Lorain Municipal Court, where the domestic violence charge was added to his case by the Lorain Prosecutor’s Office. His case was sent to a county grand jury for the consideration of felony charges.

Lorain police Sgt. Mark McCoy said the domestic violence charge is related to the incident in which the injuries were discovered on the 2-month-old girl when she was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center on Saturday. The girl had been in the care of her father Craig, the baby’s mother, Saleana Craig, 22, told police.

Lorain County Children Services spokeswoman Patti-Jo Burtnett said the agency is looking into the incident. Cuyahoga County Children Services had been involved with the family and has temporary custody of another child of Saleana and Corey Craig. The couple’s 3-month-old son died in November 2011.

In November 2011, Saleana and Corey Craig were living on the west side of Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County Children Services was called after their child went into cardiac arrest, said Mary Louise Madigan, spokeswoman for the agency.

“We were called when that baby was taken to the hospital. That was the first time we learned of the family,” she said. “The baby died the next day.”

Madigan said a full autopsy by the medical examiner revealed the child died of sudden unexplained infant death due to an unsafe sleep environment.

The Cuyahoga County coroner was unavailable for comment Friday afternoon.

According to a Lorain police report, Corey Craig told police he and Saleana had not faced criminal charges in that child’s death because the child had no physical injuries.

Madigan said while she did not believe the family had been charged with a crime, an investigation by Cuyahoga County Children Services revealed that there were safety concerns in the home. She could not elaborate on those concerns due to privacy laws, but she said the older child is in the care of a relative, and Children Services was working toward reuniting family.

She said the agency did not believe the couple’s 2-month-old child was at risk, and the case was not forwarded to Lorain County Children Services when the family recently moved to Lorain.

Corey Craig told police on Saturday that he was playing with the 2-month-old when he tripped over a table and fell, dropping the girl. He said she began crying, and she could not move her arm.

Originally, Corey Craig told Saleana Craig and a police officer that he did not know what was wrong with his daughter and denied anything had happened.

Corey Craig also told police he had been abused by his mother until the age of 7, when he was taken from her custody, according to a police report.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.