Child neglect charges filed against couple
BY DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Friday, November 16, 2012
11/16/12 at 10:40 PM
Child neglect charges were filed Friday against a Tulsa couple after three young children were taken into protective custody last Sunday.
William Todd Lewallen, 47, and Erin Elizabeth Lewallen, 27, were both accused in Tulsa County District Court with failing to provide supervision and a safe environment for the children.
A neighbor of the Lewallens found a naked child crying at about 4 p.m. Sunday. The temperature in Tulsa at the time was 42 degrees, National Weather Service records indicate.
A police report indicates that the child had been outside crying for longer than 20 minutes.
Neighbor Matthew Testerman found the boy outside the Lewallen residence on North Frankfort Place and knocked on the home’s front door. When no one answered, Testerman took the child to his house and called the police.
Responding officers heard screaming from inside Lewallen’s home and, upon forcing entry, found a child less than two years of age locked in a metal dog cage and covered in feces, Officer Leland Ashley said.
William Lewallen reportedly was “impaired to the point where he didn’t hear his child screaming for help outside or the other child wailing to be let out of the cage,” police said in a news release.
He was found in bed with a third child, a 3-year-old who also was naked, police said.
William Lewallen had consumed alcohol and taken a combination of of Oxycontin, Flexeril and Dilantin on Sunday, according to the charge against him filed on Friday.
The charge against Erin Lewallen alleges that, as the mother of the three children, she was a person responsible for their care. The prosecution alleges that she knew, or reasonably should have known, that leaving the children in the care of William Lewallen would put them at risk of harm.
The charge alleges that Erin Lewallen should have known of William Lewallen’s use of medication, history of substance abuse and criminal history.
Read more of this story in Saturday's Tulsa World.
William Todd Lewallen
Erin Elizabeth Lewallen