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Parents Accused of Fracturing Child's Arm Waive Hearings

Jacqueline Lee Werner and Erik M. Brennan, formerly of Hatboro and Horsham, are facing felony child endangerment charges.

Parents Accused of Fracturing Child's Arm Waive Hearings
A Norristown couple who had formerly lived in Hatboro and Horsham with their three young children waived their preliminary hearings in district court and are headed to county court on felony child endangerment charges.

Erik M. Brennan, 31, of the 900 block of Green Street in Norristown and Jacqueline Lee Werner, 28, of the same address, were arrested last month. Both were charged with a felony count, as well as a misdemeanor count, of endangering the welfare of children.

Brennan was also charged with a first-degree felony count of aggravated assault, eight counts of simple assault and a count of recklessly endangering another person.

Hatboro Police were notified on Sept. 25 that the couple's 2-year-old daughter was being treated at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for a fractured left arm, according to court documents. 

On Dec. 10, 2011, when the child was 3 months old, police were notified that Werner and Brennan had brought her to Abington Memorial Hospital's emergency room with an "extremely swollen and hard left upper arm," according to the affidavit of probable cause. 

In 2011, the infant was diagnosed with an acute left humeral fracture, five lower rib fractures, a radius fracture to her right arm and several "unexplained bruises" to her abdomen, according to court documents. 

"The parents were unable to explain how the injury had occurred," according to the affidavit. 

On Dec. 13, 2011, police spoke to a doctor at Abington Memorial Hospital who said that the x-rays and rib fractures "appear to be consistent with the child being held in someone's hands and that person squeezing the baby," according to court documents. 

The baby had healing fractures on the right arm of the radius and ulna bones and chip fractures to the left femur and tibia, according to the affidavit.

In explaining the child's fractured arm last year, police said, Werner told authorities on Oct. 25 that while removing the child from the crib her arm became stuck between the rails of the crib and she had to "pull and twist her arm to free it from the rails," according to the affidavit of probable cause. 

Police told Werner that her arm could not have been broken that way and she "was then at a loss to explain how it did happen," according to court records. 

Brennan could not explain his daughter's most recent injuries, according to police. 

On Oct. 17, the couple's 4-year-old son told police that he saw his father hit his younger sister in her left arm with a red bat that was kept outside in the garden, according to court documents. The child also told police that he and his siblings had been left home alone at the house in Norristown, according to court records. 

Werner and Brennan remain incarcerated in lieu of bail. Werner's bail was lowered on Thursday from $100,000 to 10 percent of $7,500, while Brennan's was dropped from $100,000 to $60,000. They await formal arraignments in county court next month. 

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