Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Foster father expected to plead guilty in case
In the beating of his 3-year-old foster daughter BY BRETT HAMBRIGHT, Staff Writer
A Reinholds man will plead guilty next month to beating his 3-year-old foster daughter, causing permanent injury to the girl, according to court records.
Joshua Tyler Martin, 23, of 377 Staver Road, will plead guilty Feb. 15 to felony aggravated assault and two counts of endangering a child, records show.
Lancaster County Judge David Ashworth will preside over a plea hearing and ultimately will decide whether to accept the plea.
Martin is not expected to be sentenced that day.
Prosecutors confirmed that Martin's hearing is listed on the county court calendar, but they declined further comment.
Jeffrey Conrad, Martin's attorney, also declined to elaborate on the scheduled hearing.
Martin has been at Lancaster County Prison since his arrest Sept. 27.
Police allege Martin beat 3-year-old Belle Roeting on at least two occasions at his home in September.
The girl suffered a traumatic brain injury and was hospitalized in a medically induced coma with brain swelling.
She was removed from that coma and just recently was placed with a new foster family, according to a social-media page maintained by her relatives.
However, relatives say, Belle sustained debilitating injuries that might never fully heal.
Martin told officers that he beat the child Sept. 21 and 23, according to an arrest affidavit. He told police he punched the girl and slammed her head into a door frame after she misbehaved, according to a police affidavit.
"He struck her head off a wooden door frame and then punched her with a closed fist in the head, using a good deal of force," the affidavit reads.
Martin told police that the girl "annoyed" him, the affidavit shows.
Martin and his wife, Marla, also were caring for Belle's two siblings, ages 1 and 2.
They have been placed with a new family, separate from Belle.
Social workers removed all three children from the Martin home as soon as the abuse was reported, officials said.