A local man is set to appear in Wake County court Aug. 10 on charges that he strangled his 9-year-old daughter, intentionally causing serious physical injury.
Everette Henry Wilson, 28, of 107 Shannon Drive, Zebulon, was arrested July 17 after a joint investigation by the Wake County Division of Social Services and Zebulon Police Department into the offense that reportedly took place July 1.
Wilson was released from the Wake County jail July 20 after posting $50,000 bond.
The child’s mother and younger sibling also live at the address, according to police, who were uncertain if DSS had removed the allegedly abused child from the home or if release terms for Wilson forbid him from returning to the residence.
Zebulon police arrested Wilson at his Shannon Drive residence, part of the Wake County Housing Authority’s Zebulon location. He is charged with assault by strangulation and intentional child abuse causing serious physical injury.
Police say a concerned citizen noticed visible marks to the child’s jaw and arm and filed the report with DSS, which relayed the information to the Zebulon department.
Zebulon Lt. Scott Finch said physical evidence and interviews led to the charges. He explained intentional child abuse as something that is done out of anger and not out of punishment.
“A lot of times, we don’t have to have a visible mark on the throat or neck itself,” Finch said. “Sometimes you can tell if someone has been strangled based on the look of the eyes ... but in this case it’s definitely indicative of strangulation.”
It is unclear if Wilson officially resides at one of the 82 public housing units at the Zebulon site, or was just staying there. The Housing Authority by law cannot release the names of its tenants without their permission.
Wake Housing Authority CEO Burnetta Smith said her office, which is headquartered at the Zebulon site, was unaware of the charges as of Friday. She acknowledged it takes about a week at times for information to be passed along through the involved agencies.
Smith said the Housing Authority’s first step would be to see if Wilson is indeed a resident, with his name on a lease.
“Anything involving criminal activity to a person that’s on a lease, we have to look at the nature of the charges to make a decision and if it warrants a lease termination we have to go through the legal system,” Smith said. “Everything we deal with does not necessarily need to have a conviction, especially drugs and other serious activity.”
Smith said the Housing Authority is able to trespass people who are not on a lease if it is believed there is a danger or threat to anyone living in the community.
“We could have a lot of outsiders coming in, even in the case of parents,” she said. “The important thing we look at in situations like this is that the threat to the children is actually out of the household.”