CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield woman whose child was found locked in an empty room with piles of feces pleaded guilty to felony endangering the welfare of children Monday during sentencing court.
Nicole Renee Krause, 33, pleaded guilty in a total of four cases and was sentenced to serve five months to one year in the county jail with three years concurrent probation for the felony charge in one case, six counts of misdemeanor endangering the welfare in a second case, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia in the third and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia in the last one.
She was also ordered by Judge Paul E. Cherry to complete a nurturing program, as well as drug and alcohol counseling, and not to have any contact with the victims unless it is authorized by Clearfield County Family Children and Youth Services.
According to the affidavit of probable cause for the felony endangering the welfare case, on Aug. 5 police were called to Krause’s home because a CYS employee was taking custody of a child.
After they arrived, the employee told them the seven-year-old autistic boy was in a locked bedroom with a door that Krause had to “fight with” to open.
The room was empty except for the boy and a pile of human feces.
At this time, the rest of the home was in “fair condition” with food for the other children.
Krause had been warned previously about locking the boy in the room and fixing the latch on the door frame.
The initial endangering the welfare case happened on June 7 after police were called to a disturbance at a Holmes Avenue apartment where a man was prohibiting a woman from getting into the residence.
The woman, Krause, who was with five of her six children, was questioned separately from the man.
She said she and the kids had stayed at a hotel the previous night and when she returned, he would not let her into their home. She claimed he pushed her.
Police talked with the man, Mark Trojanovich Jr.,42, inside the home where they noted deplorable living conditions, “not suitable for human occupancy,” according to the report.
There was a foul odor and garbage/spoiled food throughout the apartment. Stairs appeared to be held together with electrical tape.
It would have been difficult for anyone to escape the home quickly in case of an emergency, police wrote in the affidavit.
There were no smoke detectors and there was “crinkled up paper and garbage stuffed into a heating unit on the wall. There were also stray wires/cords from an unknown appliance strung down the hallway.”
When asked about a loaf of bread in the kitchen, he said it was dropped off by a friend because they did not have enough food.
As they spoke with him, they could hear a loud banging coming from another room where the man said it was a seven-year-old autistic boy in his bedroom where he often strikes himself against a wall.
When police investigated, they found the boy locked in the room. He was “completely naked and covered in dirt/feces.”
The bedroom was worse than the rest of the home with no bed for the child who appeared, had been sleeping on a wrestling mat.
Trojanovich failed to even monitor the child once he was let out, the officers note, as the boy “came running down the stairs with a large kitchen knife in his hand” while he spoke with police, and they watched as Trojanovich wrestled the knife from him.
Both Krause and Trojanovich were subjected to urine tests with Krause being negative but Trojanovich testing positive for methamphetamine.
Trojanovich is also facing charges of multiple counts of endangering the welfare of children in relation to this incident. Court records indicate he has signed a plea agreement and is scheduled to be sentenced in July.