A Starke County woman was taken into custody Friday and charged with causing the death of 3-year-old Ethan Brown on June 18. Stacie Brown, 34, is being held under a $250,000 bond in the Starke County Jail for two Class A felonies: Count one, Battery Resulting in Death; and count two, Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death. She is the step-mother of Ethan.
Starke County Prosecutor Nicolas Bourff announced the arrest Friday afternoon at a press conference. Lead Detective David Combs of the Knox City Police and Detective Ken Pfost of the Starke County Sheriff’s Department were also in attendance.
In the affidavit for probable cause, Combs writes that he interviewed Brown on Friday, and she admitted that on June 18 she was caring for Ethan and her daughter while her husband was at work. Brown told Combs that after her husband had left, she became angry with Ethan because he was fighting with her 18 month old daughter. Brown shoved Ethan to the floor, causing his head to strike the ground with enough force to cause a skull fracture from the back of his skull to the top of his forehead, multiple bruises to his head and face, and severe bleeding and swelling to his brain.
Brown said she knew Ethan was injured because he was sluggish and acting strangely, and when she put him to bed he was warm to the touch. He did not want to wake up the next morning, but she decided not to get him medical attention. In fact, the EMT’s even came to the house that morning to take Trampes Brown, his father, to the hospital for complications with his diabetes, but Brown did not even ask them to check on her son who lay dying in the next room.