NEW BOSTON, Texas–A man accused of beating a 7-year-old with an extension cord and leaving young children home alone with an ax last year is on trial this week in Bowie County.
A jury was selected Tuesday to decide if Anthony White, 38, is guilty of injury to a child, endangering or abandoning a child and criminal mischief. Testimony in the case got underway on Wednesday at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston.
White was allegedly keeping his three children–ages 5, 6 and 7 years–at a residence in the 1900 block of W. 19th Street when their mother called police on Feb. 13, 2022, asking them to check on their welfare, according to a probable cause affidavit. White was arrested after officers determined he had whipped the 7-year-old with an extension cord and after they found the children in a room with an unsheathed ax and open cans of beer on the floor.
White has been charged with criminal mischief for allegedly destructive behavior while being held in the Bowie County jail. White has reportedly broken windows, locks, cameras, a toilet and other items while in custody, according to a filing by the state asking that he be restrained during his trial.
Defendants typically wear street clothes and appear without shackles or handcuffs in the presence of a jury so as not to prejudice their opinion of the accused. A judge may order restraints if a defendant’s prior conduct has caused concern for the safety and security of people in the courtroom. However, the restraints utilized typically are kept from the view of jurors.
The state’s motion also refers to White’s prior criminal history, which includes multiple convictions for assaultive conduct. White is currently serving terms of probation in Miller County, Arkansas, for burglary and assault. Motions to revoke his probations in Arkansas are pending.
“These restraints are required for security measures, to prevent an escape and to protect the courtroom and its occupants,” the state’s motion said.
If convicted of child endangerment or criminal mischief, White faces six months to two years in a state jail. If found guilty of injury to a child, he faces two to ten years in a Texas prison.
First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards are representing the state. White is represented by the Bowie County Public Defender’s Office. Judge John Tidwell of the 202nd District of Texas is presiding.
A verdict in the case is expected this week.