Three people face indictment by a Webster County grand jury after being bound over on felony child abuse and neglect charges. The victim’s mother faces an additional child abuse charge in another county.
The three were brought from the Webster County Jail to Justice Court on Friday to appear before Judge Rebecca Ellison, who administratively bound them over in connection with the malnourishment of an 11-year-old boy.
His mother, Wendy Fountain, is charged with child abuse, while John and Heather Fountain are each charged with contributing to neglect of a child. John “Piggy” Fountain is Wendy Fountain’s stepson and the victim’s half-brother.
The judge kept the Circuit Court bond for Wendy Fountain at $100,000 but reduced the bonds for John and Heather Fountain from $50,000 to $10,000 each upon motions of county Prosecutor Jan Butler.
Wendy Fountain, 41, remained in jail as of Monday morning. Heather Fountain, 29, was released Friday night after posting bond while John Fountain, 33, was released Monday upon doing so.
Public defender Stephanie Mallette remains as Wendy Fountain’s appointed attorney, while Ellison appointed new attorneys to represent John and Heather Fountain — Austin Vollor for the former and Jay Hurdle for the latter. The current county grand jury will be recalled May 24 and the next Circuit Court term begins June 20.
As reported last week, Wendy Fountain is accused of causing her 11-year-old son bodily harm by keeping him from food or nourishment to sustain life or growth. The other two defendants are charged with depriving him of health care, food and supervision, resulting in substantial harm to his physical health.
On Monday. the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department also filed a child abuse charge against Wendy Fountain relating to time she lived in Calhoun County last fall, according to The Calhoun County Journal.
The defendants and the child were living at an apartment at 815 S. Dunn in Eupora upon the Fountains’ arrests Jan. 27 and 28, according to the Webster County Sheriff’s Department. A report made to the sheriff’s office by the Mississippi Department of Human Services led to their arrests upon investigation.
The malnourished child was rushed to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis on Jan. 27, according to the WCSD. Paul Nelson, public information officer for MDHS, said Monday that the agency could not release any information about the child, including his medical condition, because of confidentiality restrictions. The sheriff’s office previously said the child was not enrolled in school in Webster County.