MOUNT VERNON — A Mount Vernon couple was indicted for endangering children in a case involving their infant child.

Zachary Emmert, 24, was indicted for felonious assault, a second-degree felony, endangering children, a second-degree felony, and another count of endangering children, a third-degree felony. Karlie Meadows, 19, was indicted for obstructing justice, a third-degree felony, and endangering children, a third-degree felony. An 8-month old child was placed in Knox County Children’s Services custody.

Children and Family Services Administrator Scott Boone said Children’s Services cannot comment specifically on pending cases.

Emmert and Meadows brought their child to the hospital Oct. 4. Hospital staff observed that the child had suffered broken ribs and alerted law enforcement, according to Knox County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Nicole Derr.

Emmert reportedly caused the child’s broken ribs and was charged with second-degree felonious assault. Due to the severity of the offense, prosecutors chose to also charge Emmert with felony endangering children instead of domestic violence, which would be a misdemeanor for a first offense, according to Derr.

During the investigation, Meadows was believed to have withheld information that investigators later discovered through other means, leading to the obstructing justice charge.

Emmert was indicted with a second endangering children charge. This is because according to the Ohio Revised Code, parents have an ongoing duty to provide care, protection or support to their children.

Meadows was also indicted for endangering children for failing to provide the child with protection, care and support, although she was not charged for any direct infliction of physical harm.

When parents are determined to be unable to provide care for a child, the priority is to place the child in the care of another family, according to Boone. In cases where no family member is available, the agency will explore alternative environments such as foster homes or residential care through therapeutic network.

“When a child is placed in (government) custody, it means we’ve exhausted resources in the family network,” said Boone, explaining why a child might be taken into the care of Children’s Services.

Other indictments issued by the grand jury on Monday: Patrick Banks, 32, Mount Vernon, illegal conveyance of drugs of abuse onto the grounds of a detention facility, a third-degree felony; Andruw Carl, 24, Mount Vernon, assault of a peace officer, a fourth-degree felony; Richard Wiles III, 27, Mount Vernon, three counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, third-degree felonies, two counts of aggravated possession of drugs, second-degree felonies; Anthony Morton, 35, Mount Vernon, four counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, third-degree felonies, one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs, a fourth-degree felony, with a specification of $485; Scott Lyons, 38, address unknown, failure to provide change of address, a third-degree felony; Rockey Clark, 31, Mount Vernon, aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony; Amy Krownapple, 53, Fredericktown, aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony; Brittany Bailey, 24, Howard, possession of cocaine, a fifth-degree felony; Jadriana Fowler, 23, Mount Vernon, aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a fourth-degree misdemeanor; Austin Hillegass, 23, Brinkhaven, aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony; Randy Sowash, 56, Mansfield, importuning, a fifth-degree felony, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fifth-degree felony; Anna Morris, 37, Fredericktown, possession of a fentanyl-related compound, a fifth-degree felony, aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, possession of cocaine, a fifth degree felony, tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.

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Eli Chung: 740-397-5333 or eli@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @