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Woman claims the boy got tangled in her hair during the night and woke her up screaming.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Maryann Stahi is accused of strangling her 1-year-old son. A Madras mother is accused of strangling her 1 1/2-year-old son and is charged with criminal mistreatment, third degree assault and strangulation.

On July 24, Maryann Stahi was arrested after the Madras Police Department received a report from her mother-in-law, Marcella Martinez, that her grandson had marks around his neck. She told the mother she was running an errand to get batteries for her smoke detectors and taking the child with her, but instead went to the police department and then was instructed to go to the hospital.

Madras Police Sgt. Steve Webb, upon arriving at the hospital to examine the child's injury, found ligature marks around the child's neck, according to a court document.

The documents stated that Martinez wrote in a messenger conversation to Stahi that her son needed to go to the hospital, to which Stahi replied that Martinez was making two big of a deal out of the situation.

Martinez had taken the child with her the day before to play and go to the spray park and told Webb that when she dropped him off for the night he was not injured. However, she told Webb, when she returned the next morning and saw the marks around the child's neck, it made her "shake" and she proceeded to ask Stahi if he could come with her to get batteries.

When questioned by Webb at her home, Stahi told the officer that her son had woken her up around 3 a.m., screaming and was tangled in her hair. She explained that she had taken a sleeping pill and told Webb she had to pull some of her hair out to get the child untangled and if he looked he would find some of the hair on her bedroom floor.

As Webb searched the bedroom, he noted a bottle of sleeping pills near the bed, and found a clump of hair that he described in the report as something a female with long hair would clean out of a hair brush.

The KIDS Center medical director, Nancy Heavlin, began looking at the case and confirmed to Webb that the child suffered from petechiae, which occurs when someone is strangled to the point that blood vessels rupture.

At Stahi's arraignment, Martinez spoke, along with her daughter, expressing concern about Stahi's alcohol use when the court was discussing a third-party release.

"When (Stahi) is sober, she knows how to be a good mother," said Martinez, who wants to see her daughter-in-law get some help, also mnetioing that her grandson would always love his mother and that she wanted to respect that.

When Stahi was initially arrested she had a blood alcohol content of .074.

Martinez said that she was so excited when her son, who is currently in treatment, and Stahi told her they were going to have a baby. She continued by telling Stahi, who was present via video from the Jefferson County Correctional Facility, "I don't care what they say, I will always love you Maryann."

Stahi remains in custody and status check is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 8, at 1 p.m.


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