LA County

Detectives Don't Know Where Comatose Boy Was Abused

Child abuse investigators at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Monday they were still trying to find out where a 6-year-old boy, now in a coma at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, suffered severe head injuries in an alleged incident of child abuse.

The boy's father, identified in court papers as 27-year-old Wendell Travon Martin, was charged last week with one count of assault on a child becoming comatose, according to the LA County District Attorney's Office.

Martin has pleaded not guilty and is being held in lieu of $1-million bail. Authorities were notified by the hospital of the boy's injuries on March 17. Court records said the alleged incident happened a day earlier.

The first deputies dispatched to the hospital were assigned to the Sheriff's parks bureau, but an official with the Department's Special Victims Bureau said Monday it was unclear why that unit was involved, and detectives had not yet identified the location where the injury occurred.

In a prepared statement the Sheriff's Department said it was requesting help from the public in learning more about the incident and the father, though officials declined to release a photograph of the father or the boy.

State prison records show a person with the same name and birth date as Martin previously served time in a state prison, but the records did not reveal the nature of the case.

A law enforcement official said the adult prison term may have been the result of a juvenile prosecution.

LA County court records showed Martin pleaded no contest in 2010 to a misdemeanor petty theft case and was sentenced to 10 days of Caltrans labor.

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