Mother charged in death of 3-year-old

Posted: Sunday, November 14, 2010

BETHEL - A drunken woman in the Southwest Alaska village of Quinhagak apparently beat her 3-year-old son to death, according to an affidavit filed in Bethel District Court.

Marcasandra J.B. Frank, 29, was charged Friday with second-degree murder.

She initially told Alaska State Troopers that her boy, who died of head injuries Thursday afternoon, had tumbled down stairs outside the house where she was staying, according to the Alaska State Troopers affidavit.

But, confronted with witness statements that told a different story, she later said she drank a lot of Rich and Rare Whisky and fabricated the stuff about the stairs.

Still, she denied attacking the 3-year-old, though three children in the house reported hearing it on Wednesday night.

Trooper Barry Cebulski wrote in his affidavit that on Thursday morning he searched the residence where Frank was staying with her children. He found no blood on the steps outside the house.

But, in Frank's bedroom, he found an eight-inch-wide blood stain on the bed. There was a gauze bandage of dried blood and "a baby bottle with dried blood on the nipple."

Frank and her children had been staying at a house with Alexie Henry, 32, in the village of 700 about 70 miles south of Bethel.

Cebulski talked to Henry Thursday morning. Henry said that on Wednesday evening, he returned from picking up his wife at the airport and saw the child with blood on his face on the bed.

Henry's 13-year-old daughter told Cebulski that Frank was drunk and yelling in Yup'ik at the 3-year-old. Scared, the teen ran into her parent's room and heard Frank hitting her child. Something was thrown, the girl reported. The beating lasted 15 to 20 minutes.

Later, the girl went to check on the screaming 3-year-old and said he had a cut lip and big bruise on his forehead.

Details were corroborated by the boy's 6-year-old brother, who played a video game as he overheard the attack in the bedroom.

Also, a 9-year-old girl who had come to the house to play Wednesday evening saw the 3-year-old laying on the living room floor and bleeding from his lip. She saw the big bruise on his head, too. Frank ordered the boy to go the bedroom, but he didn't move, so Frank carried him into the room.

The 3-year-old was initially airlifted to the hospital in Bethel early Thursday morning. He was later flown to the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, where he was pronounced dead.

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