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Loyalhanna parents denied contact once baby born

| Saturday, May 18, 2013, 12:20 p.m.

A Loyalhanna mother and father are not permitted to have contact with their baby once the child is born, a judge ruled Friday.

Assistant District Attorney Judy Petrush said Elizabeth Mae Fair, 21, is due to give birth in the next month and asked that Fair and Christopher Lawrence Peterman, 30, be denied contact with the infant.

“I think that would be appropriate in light of the fact that they're co-defendants,” Petrush said.

The couple face charges for allegedly abusing their daughter in October when she was 3 months old.

Judge Debra Pezze granted the prosecution request and modified the bonds of both suspects to require that they not have contact with any child.

Fair and Peterman are charged with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with injuries the baby suffered on Oct. 20.

The couple took the infant, who was born prematurely, to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg and state police were contacted by the county Children's Bureau.

An examination showed the infant, who was born prematurely, suffered 20 rib fractures, a right temporal skull fracture, a broken right femur, two fractured arms, a lacerated spleen, and lung and heart contusions, according to police.

Peterman told police that the baby's bassinet frame collapsed, causing the injuries. But physicians told police that the only reasonable explanation was abuse.

Judge John Blahovec in April granted a request to hire a medical expert sought by Fair's court-appointed attorney, Timothy Dawson. Costs for the expert are not to exceed $2,000.

Peterman's attorney, Gregory Cecchetti, filed a motion to request that the two cases be tried separately. A hearing has not been scheduled.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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