Friday, February 16, 2001

Tot beaten to death; man held

2-year-old didn't fall out of bed, police say

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        INDEPENDENCE — Police have arrested a baby-sitter's boyfriend in the death of a 2-year-old Independence boy.

        Christopher Wayne Scarber, 25, of Milan, Ind., has been charged with murder. Investigators say he may not have acted alone in the brutal beating last week, and more arrests are possible.

        Police said they are not buying the story that Jacob T. Donskey fell out of a bunk bed at his grandmother's home, where he lived with a brother and two sisters.

        “Preliminary results from the ... coroner's office indicate that Jacob died as a result of repeated blunt force trauma to the head and that the injuries received by Jacob are inconsistent with an accident,” Independence Police Chief Shawn Butler said Thursday.

        Mr. Scarber's attorney, David Brewer of Hamilton, denied his client had anything to do with Jacob's death.

        The incident took place Feb 5. at the home of Jacob's grandmother, Barbara Fryman, on Glaser Drive in Independence. The grandmother, who was Jacob's legal guardian, left the 2-year-old, his 5-year-old sister and his 6-month-old brother with baby sitter Karen Walton to go to work at 8:30 a.m.

        Jacob was the son of Angela Fryman Donskey and Troy Donskey of Erlanger.

        Police described Ms. Walton, of Cincinnati, as Mr. Scarber's girlfriend.

        Ms. Walton told police she left Mr. Scarber alone with Jacob at the home. When she returned, Mr. Scarber told her Jacob had fallen out of a bunk bed, suffered a head injury and that no one else was in the room at the time, the criminal complaint said.

        Jacob's grandmother took the child to a pediatrician and then to St. Luke Hospital West in Florence. Because of the severity of the injuries, Jacob was taken to Children's Hospital Medical Center in Corryville, where he died the next day.

        Hospital officials notified police after detecting injuries that seemed inconsistent with an accident.

        Police issued a warrant for Mr. Scarber's arrest Wednesday. Mr. Scarber turned himself in to Independence police Thursday morning and is scheduled to be arraigned in Kenton District Court this morning.

        He is being held without bail in the Kenton County Jail.


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