PARKERSBURG - Matthew E. Lamp waived his right to a preliminary hearing Monday in front of Wood County Magistrate Joyce Purkey.
Lamp agreed to waive the preliminary hearing on the advice of his assigned attorney Jay Gerber. Lamp was charged by the Parkersburg Police Department this month with the death of a child by a parent, guardian or custodian. He is accused in the death of a 3-year-old boy who was in his care.
Yarrow Lamp, Matthew Lamp's wife, was in court Monday to support her estranged husband.
"I know he's a good person," she said.
According to Yarrow Lamp, the boy was playing with some kids when he fell onto a walker and hit his head.
"(Matthew) didn't realize he was hurt," Yarrow Lamp said. "He put him to bed."
Yarrow Lamp said the only thing her husband is guilty of is not calling 911.
"He was scared out of his mind," she said.
Lamp was escorted into magistrate court by director of confinement operations Steve Stephens. Lamp kept his head down and exchanged a few glances with his wife.
Stephens approached Yarrow Lamp telling her she could stay but to "behave" herself.
Yarrow Lamp said the two have been married for five years and have a 4-year-old son. They are not divorced, but have been separated for two years. Yarrow Lamp said they remain friends.
She has written Lamp as he sits in the North Central Regional Jail charged with the death of the 3-year-old boy.
According to court records, Lamp has previously been charged with 28 offenses, dating back more than a decade. The majority of those offenses are for possession, contributing to a minor, obstructing, escape, petit larceny and breaking and entering.
Yarrow Lamp said her husband has the mind of an 8-year-old, stemming from a childhood accident.
"He has never raised a hand to me or my son," Yarrow Lamp said.
She noted Lamp's previous criminal history, and noted of all the offenses none of them are for violent crimes.
"He's not violent." Yarrow Lamp said the only fight she can recall Lamp being involved in, he was crumpled into a ball trying to protect himself and she had to step in and save him."
Yarrow Lamp recalled a fight between the two during which she hit him with a stereo. "And all he did was cry."
"I spanked our son for spilling milk on the floor and he got mad at me," she said.
Yarrow Lamp said she wants nothing more than the community to know her husband is not a bad person.
Representing the state in Lamp's case was Wood County Prosecutor Jason Wharton. Wharton said the state has provided the court with evidence of Lamp's guilt or innocence.
According to Wharton, the state provided a DVD containing medical records, the CAT Scan of the boy and an audio CD containing statements from the defendant, Lamp, and witnesses interviewed after the alleged crime.
Lamp will remain in custody, and his case will be bound to Wood County Circuit Court. Lamp faces 10 to 40 years in prison if convicted.