A Killeen man and woman are in the Bell County Jail with $400,000 in combined bail charges, after police said they broke bones and caused bruising of an infant boy.
Michelle Anna Vanni, 34, and Joshua Jay Rivera, 29, each are facing a charge of injury to a child—reckless bodily injury. Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke arraigned Vanni and Rivera and gave each a $200,000 bond on the charge. Both were booked on Thursday, according to jail records.
Police were called on July 30 to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center where a 2-month-old child was being treated for “injuries that were inconsistent with accidental trauma,” according to the arrest affidavit.
The child had bruising and broken ribs and clavicle, police said.
Police interviewed Vanni and Rivera, who stated they might have injured the child while they were fighting.
At one point, Vanni told police “that she and Joshua Rivera fought twice while holding (the child),” according to the affidavit.
Rivera told police “that (Vanni) was trying to grab (the baby) out of his hands and he shoved (her) while she was also holding onto (the baby) and he hit (Vanni) during the fight while he was holding” the child.
Vanni's father called the Herald to offer more details about the story. "She's a victim," said Raymond Lund. "He's beaten her into submission."
Rivera's brother, J.P. Rivera, said Lund's comments are not true.
"She is definitely not a victim," said the brother, adding that Vanni and Lund are trying to "slander the family's name."
Also arraigned on Thursday, in an unrelated charge, was:
Anthony Beshaud O’Neal, 33, of Killeen, on a charge of possession of marijuana 5 pounds or less but more than 4 ounces. O’Neal was given a $100,000 bond and was not listed in the Bell County Jail as of Thursday afternoon.