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Growth leads to bail reduction

A  man jailed since December on charges he assaulted a baby boy and denied him medical care was allowed to post reduced bail Friday in order to seek medical attention for a large facial growth.

Petey Ray Henthorne, 27, has been lodged in the Jackson County Jail since Dec. 15 on charges alleging he caused serious injury to an infant under his care on March 24, 2015.

Circuit Court Judge Lorenzo Mejia had been prepared to deny Henthorne's request for bail reduction, counting 13 times Henthorne has failed to appear at prior court hearings, but a conspicuous growth approximately the size of a golf ball growing from the center of Henthorne's forehead changed his mind.

Paul Moser, Henthorne's court-appointed defense attorney, said that jail staff have attempted to treat the growth with silver nitrate, but the treatment has been unsuccessful. Henthorne did not have the growth when he was booked in the jail, Moser said, and the growth has grown over the past several months from the size of a thumbnail to its current size. 

Moser said the growth is painful, and caused Henthorne a migraine headache that lasted three days. Jail staff had reached out to area dermatologists, who have been reluctant to work on an inmate, Moser said. He has arranged an appointment at Oregon Health Science University dermatology department, Moser said.

Prosecutors and foster parents caring for the injured child objected to the request, arguing that the baby suffered bruises on its skull while under Henthorne's care, as well as a stroke caused by strangulation. The child was completely unresponsive when emergency medical technicians arrived.

"This baby did nearly die," a woman identifying herself as the child's foster mother said. She said another woman sitting beside her in the courtroom intensively cared for the baby boy after he was released from the hospital. 

The women argued that Henthorne and his family are "not trustworthy."

"I'm not depending on the family — I'm depending on community corrections," Mejia said. "I think he needs some medical attention, and I think he needs it now."

Mejia reduced Henthorne's bail from $270,000 to $50,000, of which he needs to pay 10 percent in order for release. The court order mandated "Intensive Release" conditions, which require weekly check-ins, wearing an electronic monitor, no intoxicants, random drug and alcohol tests, no contact with minors except with his own children when supervised by the Department of Human Services. He remained lodged in Jackson County Jail as of 5 p.m. Friday.

Henthorne faces charges of first-degree assault and first-degree criminal mistreatment in the child abuse case, and his next court appearance is set for Aug. 22.

He also faces felony marijuana charges, alleging he manufactured, delivered and possessed more than 4 ounces of marijuana in a butane hash oil operation in April of last year. His next court hearing is set for Sept. 26 in that case.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.