Tahlequah Daily Press

February 15, 2013

Grandmother of burned baby charged

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Prosecutors have formally filed charges against a grandmother and alleged methamphetamine addict whose grandchild suffered severe chemical burns.

Brenda Toniece Vann, 54, is charged with child neglect and endeavoring to manufacture a controlled dangerous substance.

She was arrested earlier this month after investigators were called to a Tahlequah hospital, where Vann’s grandchild was being treated for chemical burns over a large part of her body. Investigators said Vann had been caring for the toddler for several days.

Vann and the 2-year-old’s mother claimed they didn’t know how the baby was injured, but investigators say Vann later admitted she has been addicted to meth for decades, and had cooked some of the substance in her home the week before.

She also allegedly went to that home after the baby was taken to the hospital and removed components of a meth lab. Vann placed those items inside a vehicle, and allegedly said she did so because she assumed the Department of Human Services would enter her home and see them.

Investigators later searched Vann’s home and vehicle and seized a meth lab and several other drug-related paraphernalia.

Vann was released from jail on $75,000 bond, but was arrested a few days later by Tahlequah police for an outstanding warrant. Police said they also discovered Vann to be in possession of meth, marijuana, and paraphernalia.