Jury finds woman guilty of placing tattoos on children

By Matt Swearengin - mswearengin@civitasmedia.com

A Mead woman accused of forcibly applying tattoos on two children was convicted during a jury trial this week.

Jurors spent about 45 minutes deliberating Wednesday evening before finding 26-year-old Summer Faith Turner guilty of two counts of child abuse by injury. Punishment was set at five years in prison on count one and a $500 fine on count two.

Turner had previously pleaded no contest in June to the charges and was sentenced to 20 years in prison with the last 13 years suspended. On July 5, the court granted her request to withdraw her plea, according to court records.

The court ordered a pre-sentence investigation after her trial and set a sentencing date of Oct. 19. Turner was booked into jail.

Turner and 29-year-old Joseph Lewis Swilling of Madill were each charged in April with two counts of child abuse by injury.

Court papers state that sometime between January and March, they held down a 4-year-old child and permanently tattooed him with a smiley face on his leg and also placed a tattoo of a blue dot on an 8-year-old boy’s leg.

According to a probable-cause affidavit, the charges were the result of an investigation by DHS Child Protective Services and the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office.

The affidavit states that CPS had planned to place the children into a safety plan due to past violence at the home, including an incident in front of the children. It was disclosed during the investigation that Turner, along with her boyfriend Swilling, had given the children tattoos.

The older child was interviewed and according to the affidavit, it was disclosed that Swilling attempted to place a tattoo on his leg and that he then ran into the room occupied by his grandmother after having one dot placed on his leg.

According to the affidavit, the child disclosed that a smiley face was placed on his brother by Swilling.

During the investigation, Turner was arrested after being dropped off at the DHS building by Swilling, who then drove away. The affidavit states she was intoxicated. She told Sheriff’s Investigator Jeff Wilson that the tattoos were done by Swilling.

The following day, Wilson spoke to her at the jail. The affidavit states she told Wilson that she held the 4-year-old boy while Swilling applied the tattoo on the child’s leg. She said they were both very intoxicated during the incident.

Swilling’s case is still pending and his next court appearance is scheduled Dec. 5.

Contact Matt Swearengin at 634-2160 or mswearengin@civitasmedia.com.

By Matt Swearengin


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