By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Uptegraw says Shelton abused their children
Placeholder Image
MONROE - Amy Uptegraw admitted Wednesday she lied to investigators when she told them Casey Shelton hadn't abused their two children, but said she was truthful when she later told Green County Sheriff's Department detectives Shelton had been abusive.

Shelton, 32, Brodhead, is charged with first-degree reckless homicide, a class B felony, in connection with the Feb. 28, 2007, death of his 2-month-old son, Christopher. He faces 60 years in prison, if convicted. His trial continued Wednesday in Green County Circuit Court in Monroe.

Court records indicate Shelton called 911 on Feb. 28, 2007, and told them he needed an ambulance at his residence in Decatur township because his baby had stopped breathing. He told emergency responders Christopher began to choke as he was feeding him.

Christopher was pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital in Janesville.

Defense attorney Michael Murphy questioned Uptegraw why she didn't come forward with allegations of abuse before she talked to detectives April 20 at the Green County Sheriff's Department. He reminded her that she told investigators on three occasions that Shelton was a good father who would never hurt his children.

"You lied to them then, but now you want us to believe you're telling the truth?" Murphy asked.

"I lied and I'm not proud of it," she replied.

In often tearful testimony, Uptegraw said she knew Shelton abused Christopher and his twin brother, Charles, but didn't tell that to Detectives Julie Blumer and Natalie Lewellyn when they questioned her about abuse charges Feb. 5, 2007, at her workplace, Grande Cheese in Juda; Detective Terry Argue when he questioned her at Mercy Hospital in Janesville a few hours after Christophe'¹s death; or to Argue and Detective Kevin Bohren when they questioned her about Christopher's death March 1, 2007, at the Green County Sheriff's Department.

"I was scared of Casey," she told the jury. "He said he had people watching me."

Uptegraw said Shelton often stuffed rags into the babies' mouths or covered them with blankets when they cried.

"He told me he couldn't take it anymore,' she said.

When she confronted Shelton about his actions, he threatened to kill her and her family, Uptegraw testified.

After she moved in April 2007 out of the apartment she and Shelton shared in Decatur township, she decided to tell detectives abut the abuse. She told them Shelton threw their son, Charles, onto the floor because Shelton and Uptegraw were arguing. He refused to let her call the police or take the baby to the hospital, she said.

Shelton also appeared to enjoy hurting the kids, Uptegraw said.

"He would hold pick Christopher up by his feet and pinch his toes and laugh," she said as she cried.

Uptegraw said Shelton was verbally and physically abusive to her.

"He told me I couldn't feed them right, dress them right or bathe them right," she said.

Uptegraw said Shelton didn't want her other two children to play with the twins and seldom let her pick them up.

Murphy, in his cross examination, questioned Uptegraw's abilities as a parent. He said Green County Human Services investigated her for injuries each of her children received. He asked Uptegraw about other instances when her children were injured.

Murphy mentioned a time when her daughter, who was 7 months old at the time, fell down and stopped breathing; when her daughter, who was about 4 at the time, fell off a counter at the Green County Fairgrounds and broke her elbow; when her son, Bryce, fell into a chair and a couple years later was playing and hit his head against a wall. In each instance the children received medical care.

"Kids fall down and get hurt," she replied.

He also questioned her about injuries Charles sustained in April 2008 when he cut his lip; in May 2008 when he fell twice; and in May when Charles was put into the bathroom for a timeout and ingested chemicals.

Uptegraw's mother, Cynthia, testified that her daughter was a good parent who would never hurt her children. However, she said she still felt she needed to supervise her daughter around the kids.

Shelton's trial continues Thursday, and is scheduled to continue through the week.

Shelton also faces charges for injuries Charles had when his twin brother died. A three-day trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 4. He is charged with two counts of child abuse, one a class G felony and the other a class H felony. He faces up to 16 years in prison and up to $25,000, if convicted.