Man accused in daughter's death has hearing reset

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BENTON, Mo. -- A Sikeston, Mo. man accused of causing the death of his 17-month-old daughter in January had his preliminary hearing reset by Circuit Court Judge Scott Horman Tuesday at the Scott County Courthouse.

A pathologist set to testify at the hearing was unavailable for the court date, so the prosecution requested a continuance, according to Patrick McMenamin, the defendant's attorney.

Robert Benjamin Ransom, 21, charged with second-degree murder and child endangerment, will appear in court April 8, his new preliminary hearing date.

Ransom and the infant's mother, Tabitha Hail, 25, are accused of causing the child to bleed internally and failing to seek medical attention in a timely manner. Hail is also charged with second-degree murder, child endangerment and another count of child abuse, resulting in a death.

According to a probable-cause affidavit filed with the court, a medical examiner said the infant died of blunt force trauma to the stomach and described her injuries to as "being kicked like a football."

The couple told authorities they discovered the child not breathing after they woke from a nap. The child, they said, was lying in their bed with them while they slept.

Hail's preliminary hearing has been set for April 8. She pleaded not guilty to charges Feb. 17.

ehevern@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent Address:

Sikeston, MO

131 S. Winchester, Benton, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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