Belle Vernon couple to testify against babysitter
A Belle Vernon couple agreed to testify against a babysitter accused of assaulting their toddler.
Matthew J. Price, 21, and Tracy Elizabeth Price, 23, of 20 Johnston St. are expected to cooperate with authorities in an investigation against Joshua N. Tannous, 19, of Bentleyville.
The Prices, along with Tannous, appeared Friday before Magisterial District Judge Richard Kasunic II in Perry Township.
The Prices agreed to waive their rights to preliminary hearings on charges of endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person.
Fayette County Assistant District Attorney Mark Mehalov said tentative plea agreements have been reached with the Prices.
“That agreement is contingent upon their continued cooperation as we proceed against Mr. Tannous,” Mehalov said.
Tannous' preliminary hearing was continued because police plan to file additional aggravated assault charges against him, Mehalov said.
Southwest Regional Police Chief John Hartman said the complaint against Tannous is expected to be amended on Monday.
Tannous was charged Feb. 6 with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.
Tannous allegedly told Hartman in an interview that he had “smoked marijuana and drank whiskey” before the assault, claiming the toddler wouldn't go to sleep and kept screaming and crying, an affidavit of probable cause stated.
Tannous said he “became very mad,” lost control, and hit and shook the child, a criminal complaint states.
Hartman said that on Jan. 30, Matthew Price found that his 6-month-old daughter had a burn on her hand. Tannous allegedly told Matthew Price the injury was caused when he changed the child's diaper too close to a heater that she grabbed.
Matthew Price said Tannous watched the children about a dozen times, claiming that each time he would return to find the babysitter high, according to court documents. Matthew Price said that at such times, the house had an odor of marijuana, police said.
Tannous was released from the Fayette County Jail on Feb. 20 after posting $35,000 bail through a bail bondsman.
The Prices are each free on $25,000 bond. Each is scheduled for formal arraignment 9:30 a.m. June 19 in Fayette County Court.
A new hearing date had not been set for Tannous as of late Friday.
Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- W&J names new men’s basketball coach
- Belle Vernon Area education boss presents wish list to school board
- Power outage planned in Mon City, Fallowfield areas
- Valley man faces trial in infant abuse case
- BVA stadium upgrades OK’d
- Monessen buys four heavy duty trucks
- Sulkosky settling in as new California borough manager
- Donora native at forefront of scientific research
- Mon City man killed in WWII honored in Holland
- Belle Vernon students advance to state history competition
- North Belle Vernon man accused of ‘extraordinary, physical abuse’ of infant