Phoenix Trio Arrested After Their Home Treatment of Severely Burned 3-Year-Old

Three Phoenix residents are facing child-abuse charges after spending nearly four days treating a 3-year-old girl's severe burns with gauze, antiseptic spray, and ibuprofen.

To give you an idea as to the extent of this burn, the girl's skin was peeling off, and she was hospitalized in the Arizona Burn Center last week. Yesterday, she was in surgery for skin grafts, according to court documents obtained by New Times.

Although the girl was hospitalized on Wednesday, the three suspects -- the girl's father, Terrell Williams, his girlfriend, Kenyatta Gill, and her brother, Aaron Alston -- were just arrested yesterday.

According to court documents, all three of them told detectives a similar story last week. Gill said the two men were gone late on December 10, when she was in charge of her boyfriend's daughter, as well as her own 4-month-old daughter.

Gill said she left the 3-year-old in the bathroom for a moment to tend to the 4-month-old, and when she returned, the girl had turned the hot water on, and burned herself.

Williams said his daughter "acted fine" the next day, on December 11, as they continued to treat her with ibuprofen, gauze, and the antiseptic spray.

Williams said they called 9-1-1 on December 12, when the girl's skin started peeling off.

According to the cops' description of events, that story was thoroughly torn down.

Police discovered that the gauze was purchased before the time the girl supposedly got burned, according to the court documents. Also, the girl's burns -- around her hip area -- are consistent with being placed in the hot water, not the girl turning hot water on herself.

After the three were arrested yesterday, their story changed, according to police.

Gill said the girl was actually burned on December 9, and said that the young girl got burned because, in fact, she had placed her in the hot bathtub -- although she maintained that the temperature of the water was an accident, according to court documents.

From Sunday, to Monday, to Tuesday, and into Wednesday morning -- when 9-1-1 was called -- the girl's skin continued to peel off and blister, the documents state.

Williams confirmed this story, according to the documents, and admitted that he was actually home at the time.

"[Williams] stated that he heard the victim screaming for about 7 or 8 minutes before going in to check," the documents state.

Williams told police that he'd made up the initial story to help protect his girlfriend, Gill, the documents state.

Meanwhile, Alston -- Gill's brother -- was also at home during all this.

Alston told police he was aware that the girl was in bed for multiple days with chills, and needed help eating and going to the bathroom, according to court documents.

Along with Gill and Williams, Alston didn't attempt to get actual medical assistance for the girl, either, the court documents say.

"[Alston] stated it was not his responsibility because it was [not] his child," a probable-cause statement says. "After explaining the severity of the situation, he did not believe anyone should be held accountable for the victim's injuries."

Williams, and Alston each face a child-abuse charge, while Gill faces two. Bond was set at $10,000 for Alston, $15,000 for Williams, and $20,000 for Gill.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley