Point Marion woman accused in toddler death jumped by inmates
By Liz Zemba
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011,
Female inmates at the Fayette County jail are on lockdown after a mother accused of homicide in the death of her 15-month-old baby was assaulted in a common area, Warden Brian Miller said.
Miller said three female inmates jumped Tammy Jo Bohon, 35, of Point Marion at 8 a.m. Friday while the four were in a day area. Miller said an electrical breaker malfunctioned just before the attack, causing the lights in that area to go out.
A prison nurse who examined Bohon afterward found the woman had no apparent injuries, Miller said. Inmates have been confined to their cells.
"She got into a fight with three other inmates after they jumped her," Miller said.
Bohon had been in the jail for less than 12 hours prior to the attack. She was arraigned at 8:55 p.m. Thursday on charges of criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of children in the starvation death of her daughter, 15-month old Madison Violet Dodson. The father, Robert D. Dodson, 55, is in the county jail on the same charges.
Madison, a special needs child who was malnourished and dehydrated, was found dead Thursday morning, Fayette County authorities said.
State police at Uniontown said Bohon told them she left the baby Wednesday with Madison's siblings -- seven children ages 3 to 16 -- to visit a friend, even though Madison's feeding tube had become dislodged.
Bohon told police she did not intend to be gone long and planned to take Madison to a hospital later, but she ended up smoking crack cocaine with a male friend in Masontown and fell asleep, according to a police affidavit.
Dodson told police he went home Wednesday evening, rigged up a replacement for the feeding tube, placed the child on the living room floor, and went to bed. He called 911 about 5:30 a.m. Thursday to report the child was unresponsive.
Police said they found animal and human feces, dirty diapers, cigarette butts and broken trash bags throughout the house. Cats were going in and out of kitchen closets. The children slept on box springs and mattresses with no bed linens, according to the affidavit.
Miller yesterday said an investigation into the assault on Bohon is ongoing. He speculated the assault may have been triggered by the nature of the charges against Bohon.
"Until we find out who actually jumped her, and once we talk to them, I'm assuming it's because of (Bohon's) charges," Miller said. "(Inmates) don't take a liking to anyone charged with those kind of (crimes)."
Miller said the female inmates who staged the attack have not been identified. He said it is unlikely criminal charges will be recommended because Bohon was not seriously injured, but the inmates could face internal repercussions imposed by the prison.
Bohon and Dodson are being held without bond. Both are lodged in cells that keep them out of the general population, Miller said.
The pair face preliminary hearings tentatively scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday before McClellandtown District Judge Randy Abraham.
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