On Thursday, January 5, 2017, investigators from the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office received a report from Alexander County Department of Social Services regarding possible child abuse. Investigators responded to Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston Salem.
Through an ongoing investigation in conjunction with Medical Staff and DSS, it was learned that the suspect in this case was Zachary Elijah Puckett, age 22 of Taylorsville. Mr. Puckett agreed to come to the Sheriff’s Office for questioning.
After further investigation, and a joint effort with the State Bureau of Investigation, DSS, and medical staff from Brenner Children’s Hospital, Mr. Puckett was charged with three counts of felony child abuse. He was taken into custody and placed under a $750,000 secured bond.
Further investigation also revealed another suspect, 25 year old Summer Brianna Lewis, also of Taylorsville. Ms. Lewis also came to the Sheriff’s Office for questioning in this case. She was subsequently charged with Accessory After the Fact of Felony Child Abuse. She was arrested in Charlotte and brought back to Alexander County where she is in custody under a $75,000 secured bond.
The two victims in this case, the children of Puckett and Lewis, ages 7 weeks and 16 months, are in the custody of Alexander County DSS.
Both Mr. Puckett and Ms. Lewis are scheduled for their first court appearance on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in Alexander County District Court.
CLARIFICATION: The suspect above is not to be confused with Zachary Lee Puckett, of Taylorsville, who is serving his country in the U.S. Army.