SALISBURY -- Prosecutors will have access to some records related to a child abuse case after a ruling from a judge this week allows them to review information from the Department of Social Services, unless prohibited by law.
Social Services was alerted to the alleged child abuse case when Peninsula Regional Medical Center personnel contacted the department in September after a 20-year-old Salisbury woman, Lora L. Godwin, refused to allow her 2-month-old daughter to be transported to Children's National Medical Center in Washington.
According to police, the infant suffered significant weight loss, 1 pound 1 ounce, since birth.
After DSS was notified, the infant was transported to the children's hospital, where medical personnel determined she was "severely malnourished with evidence of wasting," according to court records.
Tests were conducted while she was there, but no medical conditions would explain the weight loss.
Within five days of her hospital stay, the victim gained more than a pound after being fed nightly by the nursing staff, according to police interviews with hospital staff. Nurses also reported Godwin refused to wake up during the night to feed the baby.
Court charging documents allege Godwin, a mother of three, failed to provide proper nutrition to the infant and caused her to lose weight. She was indicted by a grand jury on child abuse and reckless endangerment in November and has been held at the Wicomico County Detention Center since September. Her current bond is $10,000.
Court records indicate two of Godwin's children were taken away from her by Social Services on Sept. 18, but give no reason.
"My grandmother and cousin say my boys are saying, 'We want our mommy. Please get her out of jail,' " said Godwin in a letter she mailed to a judge asking for a bail reduction. "And I want and need my children."
A criminal jury trial for Godwin has been scheduled for May.