While describing Chantel and Quintin McGrew as very loving and attentive parents, an attorney representing the couple said Wednesday he can’t explain why Quintin remained asleep while the family dog tore apart the couple’s 2-month-old child on April 20.
But attorney Andy Savage said he intends to find out.
Quintin McGrew, 28, of Sandpit Drive in Ridgeville, is charged by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office with unlawful conduct toward a child. McGrew was sleeping in a bedroom with another child and another of the family’s dogs, and Aiden Levi McGrew was sleeping in a swing in the family’s living room, when a newly adopted family dog apparently dragged the baby from the swing and chewed its legs off.
At a hearing Wednesday, Dorchester County Magistrate Katrina Patton ruled that McGrew is not a fight risk or a threat to the community, and allowed him to be freed from jail on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond.
Savage told Patton that the McGrews intend to remain together after the legal case against Quintin is resolved. The McGrew’s two surviving children, ages 8 and 2-1/2, were taken into custody by the S.C. Department of Social Services after the tragedy. Chantel McGrew said she and her husband have only been allowed to see the children once since they lost their baby.
The dog named Lucky, blamed for the death, was recently euthanized by state officials. The family’s other dog has been returned to them, Savage said.
Savage said the family is devastated by the loss of their baby, and Chantel and Quintin are victims of the tragedy even though Quintin faces charges, Savage said.
“They really have not had time to process it and grieve,” Savage said.
“It has been a very tough time,” Chantel said to reporters outside the courtroom.
“That was my baby, that was my best friend. I have to go home and go to his bedroom and he’s not there, and that is very, very upsetting. The baby would wake for his 2 a.m. feeding, and he’s not there. All you can do is go to his grave site,” she said.
Quintin McGrew turned himself in Wednesday morning after learning a warrant was issued. The warrant maintains McGrew put his child at unreasonable risk by leaving him in the living room by himself while he slept in the bedroom. The infant was left with a dog that was new to the house, the warrant says.
That morning, Chantel McGrew had taken the couple’s oldest child to a doctor’s appointment. Savage said Chantel phoned home while away, but her husband did not answer.
“The mother made phone calls when she left the pediatric appointment and he didn’t answer,” Savage said. He said the McGrews have cooperated completely with investigators, and Quintin McGrew was “absolutely clean” concerning any use of alcohol or drugs.
Savage suggested that the baby possibly landed on its head when pulled from the swing, and for that reason did not cry out when bitten.
“I don’t know the answer, but we’re going to find out,” he added.
Quintin McGrew told the judge he owns a computer repair service.
In portraying the couple as excellent parents, Savage said Aiden was born with a birth defect that required surgery at just one-week old. Savage said the McGrews made frequent visits to the hospital. “They take good care of their children.” Savage said. He said they made sure the child got “to every scheduled wellness visit since his birth.”
Sheriff’s Office Detective Dwayne Peters said that neither the sheriff’s office nor the First Circuit Solicitor’s Office consider McGrew to be a flight risk or a danger to the community.
McGrew won’t have to post any money to be free, but should he fail to appear for any court hearing or trial, he would have to put up the money, Patton explained.
Savage assured Patton he will represent McGrew throughout the legal process and that his client will be in court when required.
Reach Edward C. Fennell at 937-5560.
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.