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2 men accused of pummeling 3-year-old boy

By Times Staff Writers
Published December 8, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG

Two men intent on disciplining a 3-year-old boy because he vomited in a car took turns punching the child for three hours, causing severe abdominal injuries, authorities said on Friday. The men, Gerel Valentine, 18, and Sean Murph, 26, face charges of aggravated child abuse with great bodily harm. They were arrested on Thursday and both were being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. One of the boy's relatives asked Murph to discipline the toddler on Monday because the child had become ill and vomited in car, deputies said. Valentine and Murph brought the boy to a bedroom, where they choked and punched him repeatedly and put him in a dark closet, they said. The next day, another relative noticed the boy's bruises and the fact he was in pain and took him to All Children's Hospital, officials said. The boy, whose name was not released, was still being treated there on Friday, they said.

SEFFNER

Intruder wields hammer in attack

A Thonotosassa woman is accused of forcing her way into another woman's home, hitting her several times in the head with a hammer and biting her on the forearm. The attack happened about 8 p.m. Wednesday at 1303 Valley Grove Drive in Seffner, according to a sheriff's report. The victim, June Adams, 41, was transported to Brandon Regional Hospital. Her condition was not known Friday. Hillsborough deputies arrested Teri Kriston Whaley, 23, of 10810 Tuckaway Drive, Thonotosassa, early Friday and charged her with armed burglary, grand theft, aggravated battery and criminal mischief. She was held without bail Friday afternoon. The motive for the attack was unclear. Adams could not be reached for comment.

DADE CITY

Teens suspected in a dozen burglaries

Pasco sheriff's deputies arrested two teenagers Thursday they believe to be behind a string of Dade City burglaries. Levon Winston Hughes, 19, and Roberto Herrera Jr., 18, both of Dade City, each face charges of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, armed burglary and grand theft. Between June and November, deputies say the men stole approximately $75,000 worth of jewelry, electronics and firearms from more than a dozen Dade City homes.

WESLEY CHAPEL

Nurse stole from ill man, officers say

A home health nurse was arrested Thursday and accused of stealing the fortune of a patient in her care. Sharon Amberslie, 44, was charged with exploitation of the elderly and grand theft. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said she registered Victor Johnson's Acura sport utility vehicle in her name and transferred money from his bank accounts totaling $101,000. Johnson, who had lung cancer, entered hospice care Sept. 8, 2006, and died seven days later. He was 63. Amberslie was in jail Friday in lieu of $300,000 bail.