Seymour couple arrested on multiple charges involving child


A Seymour man and woman were arrested after refusing to allow police to see a child that had reportedly been battered by the man outside of their apartment on the city’s southeast side.

James E. Watkins, 45, and Angela June Watkins, 32, face preliminary Level 6 felony charges of neglect of a dependent and perjury/obstruction of justice after an incident at Seymour O’Brien Manor Apartments that left a child injured Sunday evening.

James Watkins also faces a Level 6 felony charge of battery of a child under the age of 14 by a person over 18.

Seymour Assistant Police Chief Craig Hayes said a witness called dispatch at 6:04 p.m. and reported seeing a man throwing a bicycle at a child outside the apartment at 475 S. O’Brien St.

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Hayes said witnesses reported the child had yelled for their mother and tried to escape before James then hit the child with a closed fist.

After striking the child, witnesses said James took the child inside his apartment before police arrived there, Hayes said.

When Officer Joshua Daniel and Cpl. Brian Moore arrived, witnesses directed them to his apartment, Hayes said.

James told police he had become angry after the child refused to come inside when asked, Hayes said.

When police asked to see and talk to the child to check on their welfare, James refused to allow officers inside the apartment.

Hayes said Angela, the mother of the child, arrived on scene and went into the apartment when officers were speaking to James.

She said she told police she wanted a lawyer before officers spoke to her son.

Hayes said officers observed the child through the open door while questioning and saw multiple injuries to the child’s face. He said the child had a red, swollen eye and also had a cut on their leg.

Three children, including the victim, lived at the residence and were home at the time, Hayes said. All three also were 11 or younger.

Officers arrested the couple, and Department of Child Services took over care of the children.

Both James and Angela Watkins were booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown without bond. A Level 6 felony is punishable by six months to two and half years upon conviction.

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