Union-Bulletin Court Report

A Walla Walla couple charged with first-degree child assault each pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Monday in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Jenean A. Lucero, 25, and her boyfriend, Stephan L. Cleveland, 21, were arrested May 7 after Lucero’s 2-year-old and 4-year-old were taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center on May 6 with multiple injuries police believe were caused by the couple.

The pair have been at the Walla Walla County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail apiece. Both of their trials were scheduled for June 24.

Lucero told police a metal rack with toys had fallen on the 2-year-old, who was later airlifted to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane. According to court records, the medical exams showed the child’s injuries — including a fractured right femur, two broken forearm bones, and marks on the chest, neck and face from being strangled — could not have been caused by the metal rack falling. The furniture reported to have caused the injuries was light and inexpensive, police said.

The 4-year-old suffered bruising on the face, forehead and back, records stated. The child told police that Lucero and Cleveland were upset because the rack had fallen and “spanked” her sibling and that Cleveland had “hurt” the younger child. The older child also told police that on another occasion Cleveland had covered the child’s mouth and nose with his hand, records stated.

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.

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