PANAMA CITY, FL-- 38-year-old Scott Thomas Hicks was at the Bay County Courthouse Wednesday morning about 8:30 attempting to resolve two outstanding arrest warrants on Failure to Appear for pretrial conference for battery. At about 10 AM, while being booked and arranging for bond, Hicks told the bailiff that he needed to hurry because he had a child in the car waiting for him.
Deputies immediately went to Hicks’ vehicle in the parking lot to get the child and initially thought there was no child in the vehicle. Then the deputy spotted a blanket in the back seat and the legs of a small child stick out from beneath the blanket. Deputies found a four-year old child lying under the blanket, unresponsive, eyes open, with dried blood on the lips and a laceration on the head. Investigators say the child had been left alone in the vehicle about an hour and a half.
Emergency Medical Services was called to the scene. Hicks was questioned about the child and stated the child was not his own. The child had multiple bruises throughout the body and extreme bruising to the groin. The child was taken to a local hospital.
According to investigators, an open brown bag was found next to the child. The bag contained several handguns.
Bond for Hicks was immediately revoked and he was arrested and taken to the Bay County Jail.
The child’s mother, Halle Ann McLeod, arrived at the courthouse at about 2:30 PM Wednesday and asked about the status of the bond, the location of Scott Hicks, then about the condition of her child.
Subsequent investigation determined the injuries to the child occurred in Elmore County, Alabama. The BCSO is working with the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office, who has arrested Hallee Ann McLeod, age 28, of Wetumpka, Alabama, the mother of the child, on charges of Aggravated Child Abuse. She is being held on $150,000 bond.
The child is in the custody of a family member.