Child abuse charges for Lovelock couple
Victim recovering from fractured skull, long-term hearing loss possible
Thursday, March 09, 2017 1:00 AM
Arraignments will be held in the Eleventh Judicial District Court for child abuse suspects Brandi Islas, 23, and Trevor O’Kelley, 25. Judge Karen Stephens bound over the cases after a doctor and detectives testified and photographic evidence was presented during Monday’s back-to-back preliminary hearings.
Brandi Islas and Trevor O'Kelley remain in custody at the Pershing County jail and their bail remains set at $260,000 each.
Islas and O’Kelley remain in custody at the county jail and their bail remains set at $260,000 each. Judge Stephens denied bail reductions and refused to release the suspects on their own recognizance.
On February 12, O’Kelley’s 14-month-old daughter Skylar O’Kelley was flown from the Pershing General Hospital Emergency Room in Lovelock to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Renown Medical Center in Reno for treatment of a fractured skull. Earlier that day, O’Kelley and Islas had brought the child to PGH emergency room after she had a bloody nose and was unresponsive.
After interviews in Lovelock by city police and subsequent interviews at the Reno hospital by state investigators with the Nevada Department of Public Safety, O’Kelley and Islas were arrested, held at the Washoe County Jail in Reno before they were transferred to the Pershing County Jail in Lovelock.
Islas is charged with the category B felony of Abuse, Neglect or Endangerment of Child or, in the alternative, the category C felony of Battery with Substantial Bodily Harm. In the first count, the prosecution’s complaint accuses Islas of abuse or neglect causing substantial bodily harm to the child.
The second, alternative count accuses Islas of using force or violence to cause substantial bodily harm, risk of death, prolonged physical pain and permanent damage or protracted impairment to the child.
O’Kelley is charged with the category B felony of Abuse, Neglect or Endangerment of a Child or, in the alternative, the category C felony of Accessory to Battery with Substantial Bodily Harm. The complaint alleges that O’Kelley “permitted or allowed” Islas to batter his 14 month old daughter, failed to provide medical attention for the injured child or failed to protect the child after earlier abuse of his daughter had allegedly been committed by Islas.
The district attorney’s office has 15 days to submit case information to the district court, District Attorney Bryce Shields said. District court arraignments will then be scheduled for O’Kelley and Islas.
ear damage, bruises
Early on the morning of February 12, 14-month-old Skylar O’Kelley was driven to the local emergency room by her father Trevor O’Kelley and his live-in girlfriend Brandi Islas. The couple said the infant had been limp and unresponsive, woke up with a bloody nose and had vomited after drinking water.
After examining the child, PGH Emergency Room Physician Cathy Endo said the child’s condition was deteriorating and a Careflight helicopter transported her to the Renown Medical Center in Reno for further medical attention. Skylar O’Kelley was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for treatment of a fractured skull, internal ear injuries and bruises on that were on the child’s head, neck and back, Endo testified during Monday’s preliminary hearings.
The hearings included testimony by Lovelock City Police Officer Charles Lanier who responded to the initial call from PGH after the child was flown to Reno. During interviews at the hospital, the couple told Lanier they did not know the cause of the child’s medical condition. They allowed Lanier to inspect and photograph the interior of their apartment at 1220 Dartmouth Avenue. Lanier photographed possible blood stains on the carpet and walls of the bedroom where Skylar O’Kelley and two other children slept.
The couple was interviewed by state investigators at Renown. According to detectives, the couple’s statements changed during interviews regarding the cause of the child’s injuries. O’Kelley had been at work the night before while Islas stayed home to take care of the children. According to a detective, O’Kelley said he had been concerned about how the children were treated when he was not at home.
In statements to state detectives that changed during the interviews, Islas allegedly admitted she had accidentally dropped the child on the night before the victim was taken to the local emergency room.
During the preliminary hearings, other state detectives who investigated the couple’s apartment also reported possible blood stains were photographed in the victim’s bedroom. Cleaning equipment and supplies in the apartment may have been used to clean older blood stains according to the detectives.
O’Kelley’s defense attorney Steve Evenson argued there was no expert testimony by a qualified pathologist and insufficient evidence to determine if the child’s injuries were “non-accidental.”
Interviews of the two suspects recorded by state detectives were not made available to the defense before the preliminary hearings according to Public Defender Steve Cochran who represents Islas.
The recorded interviews and the victim’s medical records were not available in time for the hearings but will be before the district court arraignments according to Deputy District Attorney Jack Bullock.
O’Kelley and Islas talked to their attorneys but otherwise were silent during the preliminary hearings.
Fundraiser for victim
Danielle Steele arrived at the Reno hospital soon after her daughter was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and has remained with her daughter according to friends. As of Tuesday morning, the young patient was still hospitalized but had been released from the PICU and no longer needed a feeding tube. A photograph sent by her mother showed Skylar was alert and sitting up in her crib.
Steele told friends that her daughter will need specialized physical therapy at a facility either in Salt Lake City or Las Vegas. Due to internal ear damage, the child may suffer permanent hearing loss.
Medicaid may help cover Skylar’s medical care and therapy but the family may also qualify for other assistance including the Nevada State Victims of Crime Compensation Program. The program assists victims of violent crime including child abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence and drunk driving.
However, there will be travel expenses and lost wages not covered by insurance or government programs. Temptations delicatessen owner Patty Burke will host a fundraiser to help Steele, one of her employees, with some of those expenses. The Ravioli Feed will be at Temptations, Thursday, March 9 from 5 to 8 p. m. U. S. Foods may contribute groceries for the event, Burke said this week.
A Spaghetti Feed for Skylar O’Kelley will be on Saturday, March 11 at the Catholic Hall in Lovelock.
Cash contributions for the victim and her family may be deposited in the “Temptations for Skylar” account set up at the Wells Fargo Bank in Lovelock, Burke said.