Warren police release details in case that sparked Amber Alert

Local News

Police in Warren are releasing more details in the case of a 2-month-old missing child that prompted an Amber Alert Thursday.

Police say the ordeal started about 1:30 p.m. with an argument between the mother of the child and the father, 20-year-old James Stennett, inside their house on Hazelwood Drive. 

The woman said she went outside to get away from Stennett when he locked her out of the house. At the time, their child was sleeping on the couch. 

The woman said as she was kicking a door trying to get in, Stennett opened it and the door came off the hinges, hitting him in the face. Stennett then grabbed the woman, threw her down and started choking her, according to the report. 

The woman locked herself in a bathroom and called her mother, who then called 911. 

Police say Stennett then took his 2-month-old son and left in a 2005 Buick Rendezvous. Police arrived on the scene and an Amber Alert was issued. 

The mother told police that Stennett had a shotgun in the SUV, but said she didn’t think the child was in danger. Other family members told police that they heard Stennett threaten to shoot police and that he is very controlling. 

Stennett was located about 8 p.m. at Candlelight Apartments on Berkshire Drive in Howland. The baby was not harmed.

Stennett appeared in court on Friday, charged with domestic violence and interference with custody. Even though Stennett and the baby share the same last name, the couple is not legally married. Under state law, he has no legal right to the child.

“If you’re married and a child’s born, as the husband, are presumed to be the father of the child because of the fact that you’re married. There is no such presumption when you’re not married,” said Attorney Chris Maruca. 

Maruca said this is a concept that many people do not realize, especially as more and more unmarried couples have children. 

Stennett is being held in jail without bond. Another hearing is set for Tuesday. 

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