A Hilltop man accused in the abuse and neglect death of his 8-year-old daughter was released on bond from Central Regional Jail.
Marty Browning Jr., 34, posted a $100,000 bond on Dec. 26 — exactly one year after his child, Raylee Browning, died at Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill of rare and serious complications related to untreated pneumonia, West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety spokesman Lawrence Messina verified on Monday.
Oak Hill Police Department officers arrested Browning, his wife, Julie Titchenell Browning, 36, and Julie's 35-year-old sister, Sherie Titchenell, earlier this month, all on one charge each of death of a child by a parent, guardian or custodian and child abuse and neglect resulting in death.
Police say the trio lived with Raylee and Julie's three children in the 400 block of Park Street in Oak Hill in December 2018.
On Dec. 26, 2018, Sherie called an ambulance for Raylee, who was in cardiac arrest and taken to Plateau Medical Center.
Plateau staff discovered multiple injuries on the child's body, including a tear in her rectum.
Witnesses reported to police that the three adults had singled out Raylee for abuse. According to police, Raylee had been beaten with wooden and metal objects, starved, forbidden to drink water for three days and forced to wear a diaper and sleep on a floor.
Sherie, a 2003 "candidate for graduation" of Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Fla., according to Kathleen High records, also homeschooled the children. Witnesses told police that Sherie denied Raylee an education, forcing her to stand still in a hallway while the other children learned. If Raylee moved, a witness said, Sherie forced her to "walk the hall" for hours.
An investigation by Oak Hill Police Department Detective Sgt. James Pack was reportedly hampered by a lack of cooperation from West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Child Protective Services, which had an open file on Raylee at the time she died.
Oak Hill Police Department Chief Mike Whisman on Dec. 11 verified a Dec. 10 report by a Fayette official that CPS had not speedily submitted to police requests for CPS records on Raylee. When OHPD received Raylee's files in November, officials said, they were not complete.
Raylee's mother, Janice Wriston of Scarbro, has pending civil litigation against an unnamed agency, Fayetteville attorney Anthony Ciliberti reported on Dec. 16.
Wriston alleged that Browning had custody of Raylee on weekdays and that he had suddenly moved with her daughter in July 2018 without informing her of his new address.
Wriston alleged that CPS told her they were unable to help locate Raylee.
Fayette Prosecuting Attorney's Office staff members were reportedly under a gag order by an unidentified judge on Dec. 17 and banned from speaking with media about Raylee's case.