October 22, 2014

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Mother facing charges after girl shows up at school with burns

WELLINGTON — A 9-year-old girl with serious burns on her hand raised the suspicions of school officials in March, especially when police rolled up the girl’s sleeve and found bruises along her arm.

Police and Lorain County Children Services investigated. Two days later, the girl revealed the real cause of her injuries: her 30-year-old mother, Ashley Gundert, police said.

Gundert, a Wellington mother of four, including a 12-year-old daughter, an 8-year-old daughter and an infant son, was indicted May 1 on charges of felonious assault, endangering children and domestic violence.

The indictment comes almost two months after the initial incident March 6 when Gundert’s 9-year-old daughter entered Westwood School with second-degree burns on her hand, a police report said. A Westwood School nurse called police and Children Services to investigate.

Officers asked the girl where she got the injuries. She told them she was doing dishes and got burned by hot water two nights in a row.

“When she started to explain this, she looked down and her voice got noticeably lower,” police wrote.

The girl’s father, Jason Williams, told police he hadn’t heard about the burning, but that “(Gundert) treats (the 9-year-old) more harshly than the other two girls,” according to the police report.

The 9-year-old was treated at a hospital for her burns. When she was discharged, Williams took her to stay with his parents while police investigated Gundert.

In questioning, Gundert corroborated her daughter’s story — that the 9-year-old got burned from the hot dish water. When police told Gundert the story doesn’t explain the type of burns her daughter had, Gundert replied that she was “not changing her story,” police said.

A day after the investigation began, police interviewed the 9-year-old again, who told them that her mother was to blame for her injuries.

According to the police report, Gundert got angry when her daughter said the water was too hot while doing the dishes. Gundert held the 9-year-old’s hand under scalding water for 10 minutes, causing the burns, police said. Police rolled up the girl’s sleeve and found bruises along her arm, causes by someone holding her tightly, according to the report.

Gundert was taken to Lorain County Jail where she is held on a $20,000 bond until her next hearing 8:30 a.m. Friday at Lorain Court of Common Pleas.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.


  • GreatRedeemer

    Disgusting harming a child. I hope you get help to spare your family in the future in the meantime you should be punished for what you have done.

  • Phil Blank

    Hold the mother’s hand under that hot water for 10 minutes and see how she likes it. Then call mental health on the mother.

  • luvmytoaster

    What a shame – what was the mother (and father) doing while this helpless 9-year-old was forced to do the dishes?

    • Miranda Lewis

      1) the mother was the one who was holding the girls hands under the scalding hot water. 2) its not uncommon for kids her age to do house hold chores. 3) maybe the father was at work, or at the store, or doesn’t even live there.

      • Jennifer Williams

        Let us get things straight this was not the child’s mother. It was the fathers girlfriend (who by the way is a monster) and the father was at work when this was going on.

        • Bonnie Pickett

          She is truly the evil step-mother if she could do this to a helpless child. Hopefully the father will make better choices on who to leave the children with in the future. I do wonder why the father failed to see the burns but possibly he works a different shift or worked out of town.

          • Jennifer Williams

            He was working third shift and was getting home and going to bed right before the kids got up for school. She is a cruel witch.

          • Bob

            Sure. *wink wink* He had no idea this happened.

            He said it in the story that this chick treated the 9 yo more harshly. So apparently there was a line of some type of abuse. Or he wouldn’t have said that.

          • luvmytoaster

            You must have inside information on these people, but the father, whether physically there at that time or not, is just as much to blame.

          • bdid.d

            Yeah, that’s good… blame her!

        • Brigitte Gerrior

          thats not what it says…

          • Jennifer Williams

            And do you believe everything you read? I know the father personally. The child said the girlfriend treated her unfairly compared to the so called mothers children. That was what the father said and he never did an interview with the chronicle so let them get their facts straight. Brigitte go read the National Inquire and maybe you can talk us into those stories next.

          • Bob

            Ok. So tell the father. The next time he pick s girl to live with. Make sure she treats his daughter the same way she treats her own kids. DUH!!!

            From your comment:

            “The child said the girlfriend treated her unfairly compared to the so called mothers children.”

            OK if she was saying that. Then why were the father and this poor child still living with this woman?

        • Michele From Ohio

          It would be really hard for me not to go over to that a-hole woman’s house and beat the eff out of her. I’m not suggesting you do that, I’m just sayin’.

    • Michele From Ohio

      I hope you aren’t making some snarky comment. Because to me you are implying the kid made this up to get out of doing chores.

      • luvmytoaster

        Is that what you got from my comment? Not at all! I feel so sorry for this innocent child….
        What am I missing here?

        • Michele From Ohio

          It’s this part of your comment that didn’t sit right with me
          “while this helpless 9-year-old was forced to do the dishes?”
          My bad if I misunderstood what you were trying to say.

          • luvmytoaster

            I’m sorry if that is what you thought I was saying, I was being totally sincere and honestly concerned for the child – that’s all. I have children, and neither of them had to do the dishes at 9 years old.

  • Bob

    They should pour scalding hot water into this woman’s uterus. Keep her from having anymore kids. Because apparently she can handle the ones she has.

    But I am curious to know there the father or fathers of the kids were when all this went down.

  • SandyLey

    What kind of monsters are some people in this world turning into? Too bad that there is not a test that can be done to identify these sick-o’s so we could clean out the gene pool.

    • luvmytoaster

      If only that were possible. There are too many parents abusing their own children and too many people who want children yet are unable to conceive.

      Give them up for adoption if you don’t want them.

  • Roxanne

    I think mom needs a nice long soak in boiling water….

  • CommonSense

    That’s so disgusting!

  • Nancy Derenberger Grob

    And keep her there. There is NO reason to hurt a child , physically or emotionally.

  • DonMega

    Hold her eyeballs under hot water.

  • bdid.d

    Let’s get real… ” Daddy” knew what was going on! He was just too busy with other chicks to care…. say I’m wrong…