Former Columbiana couple receives additional child abuse charges

COLUMBIANA – An Elberta husband and wife who formerly listed an address in Columbiana and were charged in 2016 with child abuse were recently rearrested and received additional child abuse charges.

Matthew Scott Rowe and Catherine Shawnelle Rowe, both 35, were booked into the Shelby County Jail on Thursday, July 20 and charged with aggravated child abuse. Matthew Rowe was also charged with one count of third-degree domestic violence.

Matthew Rowe

Catherine Rowe

Court documents stated that couple, who were the legal guardians of the underage victim, allegedly did “torture, willfully abuse, cruelly beat or otherwise willfully maltreat the child by striking the victim multiple times, which would leave multiple bruises, and would push the victim’s head, which would cause the victim’s head to strike a wall,” from August 2015 through September 2016.

Documents also accused Matthew Rowe of slapping the victim in the face in September 2016.

The couple was previously arrested in April 2016 and charged with two counts of child abuse each. Court documents alleged that the couple left a child in their care outside without access to food or water for multiple days.

Aggravated child abuse is a class B felony. Matthew and Catherine Rowe could each face up to 20 years in prison and up to $60,000 in fines.