Stepmother accused of reckless homicide for toddler’s death also charged with bail jumping
Ellen Tran allegedly violated CHIPS order by visiting daughter
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
A 28-year-old Rhinelander-area woman charged with second-degree reckless homicide for allegedly causing the death of her 20-month-old stepson was arrested again this week and charged In Oneida County Circuit Court with felony bail jumping.
Ellen L. Tran, who appeared in court Thursday on the bail jumping charge, is accused of having an unsupervised visit with her 18-month-old daughter while Tran was at the city of Rhinelander’s Fourth of July parade.
According to an Oneida County Sheriff’s Office report, Tran had been seen in the area where the daughter and the temporary foster parent were at with the contact lasting approximately 30-45 minutes. A Child in Need of Protection and/or Services (CHIPS) order in effect only allowed Tran to have supervised visits with the child at the Oneida County Courthouse.
Following Thursday’s court appearance, Tran, who had been taken into custody at her town of Newbold residence, was released on a $10,000 signature bond with the conditions she must follow all requirements and conditions of a family interaction plan and comply with all other court orders, including CHIPS orders.
Tran, who had been free on a $50,000 cash bond for the reckless homicide charge, will still be allowed to leave the state to visit her parents in North Carolina or to pick up family members at an airport in Minnesota.
The circumstances surrounding Tran being charged for reckless homicide relate to a 911 call the county’s dispatch center received the evening of April 14 when it was reported a child had trouble breathing at a residence in the town of Newbold.
The child, Avery J. Edwards, was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander, where he was then flown out to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield and passed away a short time later.
The preliminary findings of an autopsy performed by Dr. Doug Kelley of the Fond du Lac County Medical Examiner’s Office were that the boy died of blunt force trauma to the head.
A sheriff’s office report states Tran had been the only adult present when the alleged incident happened and she had been caring for the stepson, as well as a nine-year-old son and a 15-month-old daughter.
When Tran was asked about her statement provided to the sheriff’s office that the stepson fell in the shower, she said could not remember how the fall happened, according to a sheriff’s office report, which also stated a doctor at the Child Abuse Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Kristen Iniguez, contacted sheriff’s office captain Terri Hook on April 15 related to concern about the boy’s injuries not matching the information Tran provided.
Tran is scheduled back in court Aug. 16 for an arraignment on the reckless homicide count and an adjourned initial appearance on the bail jumping charge.