New London couple accused of harboring their son
By Robert Cloud
The parents of a man charged with reckless homicide of a child now face their own felony charges.
Darlene, 67, and David “Ted” Brush, 72, are charged with two counts each of harboring a felon and one count of encouraging parole violation.
On June 14, a mother found her 3-year-old boy lying unconscious and not breathing on the floor of Darlene and David Brush’s New London home. She had left him about an hour earlier with her boyfriend, John Brush, 35.
“Brush and his parents were just standing around, no one doing anything,” she told police, according to the criminal complaint filed against John Brush.
When the mother asked where the ambulance was, John Brush said he had not called 911 because he had outstanding warrants.
The mother then carried her limp, unconscious son out to her car and drove him to the hospital. He was then immediately flown by helicopter to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Green Bay, where he died from his injuries on June 29.
According to Dr. Kristinza Giese, who performed an autopsy, the boy died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Brush was subsequently charged with first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree reckless endangerment, felony child abuse, possession of methamphetamine, two counts of possession of paraphernalia for the manufacture, distribution and storage of methamphetamine, and possession of marijuana.
He is currently being held in custody on a $500,000 cash bond. Brush faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted of first-degree reckless homicide.
New London Police Officer Chase Schroeder was assigned to investigate the case. He discovered that John Brush called the child’s mother, who was in Appleton at the time, and told her the boy was not breathing. Brush then called his parents, and they returned home.
According to the criminal complaint against Darlene and David Brush, none of the Brushes called 911, none of them rendered aid, and no one covered the child with a blanket.
When Schroeder questioned Darlene and David Brush about their son, they reportedly admitted that John Brush had been living in their basement for the past six months. They also said they were aware there was a warrant for his arrest and that police had come to their home several times looking for him., the complaint says.
On May 31, 2011, John Brush was sentenced in Outagamie County to three years in prison and two years of extended supervision after being convicted of second-degree reckless endangerment, battery and disorderly conduct.
He was discharged from prison on the earned release program on May 17, 2013, and placed on extended supervision.
On March 31, 2014, Brush’s parole agent informed him that he was not allowed to live with his mother due to his verbally abusive behavior toward his mother.
On April 3, 2014, the agent spoke with Darlene Brush and told her about the no-contact order, the complaint says.
On Nov. 21, 2014, the agent contacted David Brush to ask for his help in locating John Brush.
The agent explained to David Brush that John Brush had gone hunting. However, he is not allowed to possess a firearm due to his felony convictions. When she tried to tell John Brush that he could not use guns, he began swearing at her until the call was terminated, the complaint says.
When the agent told this to David Brush, he allegedly responded, “That’s your story,” and hung up.
On May 1, 2015, the agent learned that John Brush was living with his parents. She left a message with the parents, but they never returned her call.
“If David and Darlene Brush had not harbored their son, 3-year-old (child) could be alive today,” Assistant District Attorney Veronica Isherwood said in the criminal complaint she filed against David and Darlene Brush.
They face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of harboring a felon.