Crime

Police say Raleigh couple tried to murder 15-year-old in their care

Verrone Nicosia Oneal
Verrone Nicosia Oneal

A man and woman were charged Thursday with attempted murder and intentional child abuse in an incident that involved a 15-year-old girl who police said had multiple broken bones, bruises and internal bleeding.

Verrone Nicosia Oneal, 36, and Shatuana Nicole McGee, 42, were arrested Thursday morning at their home at 3206 Dove Tree Lane, a single-family house that records show Oneal bought in 2011. Police said Oneal and McGee were “respite care” providers, people who take care of physically or mentally disabled people to give a break to regular, unpaid caregivers.

Police discovered the girl’s injuries on June 10 when they were called to Wake Med concerning a possible sex crime that had occurred elsewhere but involved a patient. Police later determined that there was no evidence of a sexual assault but that that someone had intentionally injured the girl.

According to the charges, the girl had fluid in her lungs, two fractures to lower vertebrae, a broken rib and bruises on her breasts, her lower back, her left forearm and the right side of her face.

The girl also had “massive blood loss/internal bleeding, causing her stomach to swell.”

Oneal and McGee were initially held in lieu of $1.5 million bail each.

Their address is one of several listed as being part of Rusmed Consultants LLC. In a directory, Alliance Behavioral Healthcare lists Rusmed as an approved care provider and says members of its network “have met enrollment standards and are contracted to provide Medicaid and/or State-funded mental health, substance use, intellectual and developmental disability services for residents who live in, or whose Medicaid originates from Durham, Wake, Cumberland and Johnston counties.”

Tammy Russell Meadows, listed as CEO of Rusmed on the firm’s website, was not immediately available to explain whether Oneal and McGree are connected to the company.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT

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