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Hearings continued in Fayette Co. baby assault case

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Saturday, March 29, 2014, 1:06 a.m.

Hearings for the parents of a Fayette County toddler and a baby sitter who allegedly assaulted the child have been continued.

Officials say additional charges may be filed.

Matthew J. Price, 21, and Tracy Elizabeth Price, 23, parents of a 2-year-old toddler, were charged after they admitted in interviews with police that they had left their two children in the care of Joshua N. Tannous, 19, of Bentleyville on numerous occasions despite suspecting he was smoking marijuana and failing to properly care for the children. The alleged incidents occurred in late January and early February, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

The Prices have a 6-month-old daughter and a 2-year-old daughter, who was taken to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh for treatment of two breaks to her collar bone, a broken shoulder blade and multiple cuts and bruises, according to police.

“There may be more charges,” said Southwest Regional Police Chief John Hartman following the continuance of the preliminary hearings on Friday before District Judge Richard Kasunic II.

Tannous told police during an interview that he had “smoked marijuana and drank whiskey” before the assault when the toddler wouldn't go to sleep and kept screaming and crying.

Tannous told police he “became very mad,” lost control, and hit and shook the child.

Price said Tannous watched the children about a dozen times, and every time Price would return to find the baby sitter was high and the home smelled of marijuana.

On Feb. 4, Tannous told police he was so mad that the attack against the 2-year-old became a “blur.”

The Prices were charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of children and two counts of recklessly endangering another person.They're free on $25,000 bond.

Tannous was charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children, simple assault and reckless endangerment.

He's free on $35,000 bond.

The preliminary hearing for all three will be held at 1:30 p.m. May 2 before Kasunic.

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