Court documents: Mother of Fairmont abuse victim, CPS workers never completed assessments or notified police

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – More details are emerging about a child abuse case in Fairmont that has resulted in felonies for the guardians and misdemeanors and discharge for two CPS workers.

Walter Richardson, 33, has been charged with first degree murder and Ashlee Allen, 28, has been charged with death of a child by a parent or guardian. Allen is the biological mother of the victim.

In addition to being discharged from CPS, Breeana Bizub, 25, and Tabetha Phillips-Friend, 44, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and failure to report child abuse to law enforcement.

Court documents show the two CPS workers knew about allegations of serious abuse more than a month before the four-year-old child died at Ruby Memorial Hospital.

The four-year-old victim was first treated for injuries consistent with abuse on January 25, 2021. In that case, the victim had multiple injuries to his head that in a day-and-a-half stay at Ruby Memorial Hospital. Doctors considered the wounds suspicious and referred the case to the Monongahela County Child Protective Services.

Court documents say the Mon County CPS worker met with the family and the victim on January 25. During that meeting, the victim told CPS that “Walter” intentionally hurt him, he was afraid of him and did not feel safe. The CPS worker drafted a temporary protection plan that was signed by Allen. The plan was in effect for seven days or until Marion County Child Protective workers could conduct an additional assessment.

The order stated Walter Richardson was allowed in the home or around the child until the assessments were complete.

On January 26, 2021 the case was transferred to Marion County CPS workers Breeana Bizub and her supervisor Tabetha Phillips-Friend.

On March 4, 2021, Fairmont police were called to a report of an unresponsive child in the 100 block of Green Street. Police found the four-year-old boy and guardian, Walter Richardson with blood on his clothing. The boy was transported to the Fairmont Medical where he was intubated before being transferred to Ruby Memorial Hospital. The victim was pronounced dead on March 8.

In subsequent interviews the biological mother, Allen told police Richardson returned to the home within two days of the January incident and was responsible for the child March 4.

Court documents say there was no assessment completed between January 26 and March 4 and Allen made no effort to contact CPS. Additionally, Bizub and Phillips-Friend did not provide law enforcement with a copy of the child abuse report.