The Woodward News

Local News

August 7, 2012

Woodward woman charged with breaking her infant son's clavicle

Woodward, Okla. — A Woodward mother and her boyfriend have been charged in connection with an incident that left her then 9-month-old son with a broken shoulder bone.

Charleen Nicole Hart was charged on July 30 with one felony count of child abuse by injury and Ryan Steven Coffelt was charged with one felony count of enabling child abuse by injury.

According to affidavits filed with the charges, a witness told police that the infant was injured on or about March 25, 2012 when Hart allegedly "picked (him) up forcefully" out of his crib, and in doing so "struck (his) shoulder on the door frame."

The witness described the amount of force as "about a 7 to 8 with 10 being the most force one could use."  The woman also told investigators that when the boy's shoulder hit the door frame, "it made a loud sound."

Hart allegedly waited until the next day, on March 26, 2012, before taking the boy to the hospital "with a complaint that (he) would not move (his) right arm and symptoms came on suddenly," the affidavit states.  Upon medical examination, it was determined that the infant had "a fracture of the right clavicle."

Hart allegedly told doctors that her son had pulled a heavy box off a shelf, causing it to fall on him, the affidavit states.

The Department of Human Services then investigated.  According to the affidavit, "the DHS report shows that when interviewed, Coffelt told investigators a box of VHS tapes fell on (the infant), while Hart told investigators a box of canned goods fell on (him)."

When District Attorney's Investigator Robert Banks later confronted Hart during an interview on July 3, 2012, she claimed "she didn't realize she hit (the boy) against the doorframe and then said (he) did not cry or anything."  

But when her boyfriend was interviewed by Banks, also on July 3, "Coffelt said when Hart hit (the infant) against the wall she knew that she hit (him) because she reacted and asked him (Coffelt) to come help her," the affidavit states.

Coffelt also allegedly told investigators that they only waited "about half a day" before taking the boy to the hospital, claiming that the incident occurred between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. and "it was around 6 or 8 in the evening of the same day that they took (the infant) to the emergency room," the affidavit states.

According to the affidavit, Coffelt told investigators that he encouraged Hart to take the boy to the hospital because he felt "that something was broken" after noticing that the boy "was not putting any weight on the shoulder when he was crawling, which was unusual because (the infant) was into everything."

Banks notes in the affidavit that the incident in March was not the only time that DHS had received reports against Hart and Coffelt for allegedly hurting the boy.

"I reviewed the DHS reports and located entries that (the infant) had visible bruises and bite marks over the body.  Additionally there were entries indicating that allegations had been made against Hart and Coffelt in the past for slapping and hitting (the child)," Banks wrote.

According to court documents, Hart was in court for her initial appearance in the case on Aug. 2, 2012.  Her preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 12, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

Hart's bond was set at $20,000, but came with several conditions, including that she is ordered not to leave Woodward County unless medically necessary.  In addition she is ordered to keep all her doctor appointments and to not consume drugs or alcohol or do anything else that might harm her unborn child.

Coffelt made his first appearance in court for the case on Monday, Aug. 6.  His preliminary hearing was set for the same time and date as Hart's, on Feb. 12, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

He also faces a similar bond of $20,000 with the condition of no use of alcohol or other intoxicants and he must contact DHS weekly.


Text Only
Local News
  • Tulsa man looking for military friend

    There are times in everyone's life when you think back and wonder whatever happened to those old friends from your past.

    July 23, 2014

  • Zoning change approved by commission

    Monday night Woodward city commissioners unanimously approved a zoning change that was contested by one local man who was protesting because he wants the neighborhood to continue its residential growth.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tangier Reunion set for Saturday, Sunday

    When Barbara (Allison) Merwin thinks back to the years she spent in the classrooms of Tangier High School, it takes a few moments for her to recall how school life was 60 years ago.

    July 23, 2014

  • Traveler Majors take regional opener

    ALVA - The Traveler Majors continued their strong Connie Mack playoff showing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • County OKs road use agreement

    Woodward County Commissioners on Monday approved a final version of a road use agreement between a energy company planning a wind turbine construction project near southeast Woodward County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Camp to show art is everywhere

    The Woodward Arts Theatre will become a recycling plant next week.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairview Wrangler Rodeo turns 50 this year

    Western fun continues in Northwest Oklahoma as the Fairview Wrangler’s hosting their 50th annual rodeo.

    July 22, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has educators worried

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — With the Legislature's repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they're concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 state which have implemented the standards.

    July 22, 2014

  • web1.jpg Travelers win Connie Mack state championship

    Down 2-0 and down to their final three outs, the Traveler Majors delivered a championship rally in the seventh inning Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • Hearing set on rezoning

    City commissioners will tackle rezoning items and a licensing agreement amendment Monday evening at the regularly scheduled meeting of the City of Woodward and Woodward Municipal Authority.

    July 20, 2014