Bond set for woman accused of abuse, neglect

April Triplett is led to her initial appearance in Starkville Municipal Court on Wednesday. Triplett is accused of neglecting and abusing her two-year-old daughter and elderly mother (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)

Bond has been set and the next municipal court date scheduled for a Starkville woman accused of neglecting and abusing her elderly mother and two-year-old daughter.

The Starkville Police Department charged 26-year-old April Triplett on Monday with contributing to the neglect or delinquency of a child; felonious abuse and/or battery of a child (felony) and vulnerable adult, prohibition against abuse, neglect or exploitation (misdemeanor).

Triplett’s initial appearance in Starkville Municipal Court was held Wednesday.

SPD Detective John Michael Lay testified that patrol received a call to the address on North Washington Street and found the door to the apartment was partially open.

Upon entering the residence, Lay said officers encountered an elderly woman, Triplett’s mother, lying on a mattress in the floor.

Lay also said officers discovered a two-year-old girl, Triplett’s daughter, left in a car seat.

The investigator then testified that both the elderly woman and child were in diapers and covered in urine and feces.

Officers would then leave the residence, but return sometime later after receiving another call from a concerned neighbor.

After returning for a second time, Lay said the officers discovered the elderly woman was paralyzed on her left side.

Lay then said both victims were taken to OCH Regional Medical Center for treatment. The child, who was severely dehydrated and malnourished, was given liquids at the hospital and turned over to the care of a family member.

Triplett’s elderly mother was kept in the hospital overnight, then put in the care of a local nursing home.

Lay said Triplett’s mother had gone as long as three months without her medication.

Triplett was then arrested, charged and transported to the Oktibbeha County Jail on Monday.

During her initial appearance, Triplett requested a court-appointed legal counsel and Municipal Judge Rodney Faver appointed public defender Stephanie Mallette to her case.

Triplett commented to Faver that she was unemployed and paid bills with her mother’s “checks.”

Faver set bond at $10,000 on the felony abuse charge and $2,000 on the misdemeanor charge.

Triplett’s next court appearance is scheduled for March 26 at 6 p.m.

Felony child abuse under Mississippi Code 97-5-39(2)(a) is punishable by a minimum five-year sentence in prison or a maximum of life.

On the neglect charge relating to a vulnerable adult, the offender can face a maximum fine of $1,000 and or a year in prison under Mississippi Code 43-47-19(2)(A).