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Hernando detention deputy charged with child abuse is fired

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County detention deputy accused of severely burning a child with a hair dryer has been fired.

Cody Lee Marrone, 21, of Spring Hill signed a termination memo late Wednesday, five days after his arrest on charges of aggravated child abuse and child neglect. The memo states that Marrone violated the agency's code of conduct.

Hernando Sheriff Al Nienhuis reviewed the facts of the case and said the decision to fire Marrone was an easy one.

"When you first hear these things, your mind starts racing. Is it better or worse than you hear?" Nienhuis said. "Sometimes, like in this case, you get more information and it only gets worse. I talked to the detective personally and decided we needed to sever our relationship (with Marrone)."

The boy's mother, Meghan Sherron, started dating Marrone about a year ago and moved into his home in November, Sherron's attorney, Don Pumphrey of Tallahassee, told the Tampa Bay Times this week. Sherron, 21, described Marrone as kind and loving. She said he had watched her son many times.

Sherron returned home from work on Friday and found red blisters and broken skin on several parts of her son's body, including his genitals, deputies say. He suffered second-degree burns and will live with permanent scars, investigators said.

Marrone was arrested the same day and posted $20,000 bail early Saturday. Sherron said a tearful Marrone called her to apologize after his release. His arraignment in Hernando Circuit Court is set for Feb. 4.

Marrone joined the Sheriff's Office in July 2012 as a control room operator at the jail, which is a civilian position. He became a detention deputy at the jail last July and had a salary of $39,401.44.

Marrone had not yet received an annual evaluation as a deputy. His personnel file does not contain any disciplinary action.

"We're racking our brains to figure out how we could have predicted this and prevented it," Nienhuis said. "We haven't come up with anything, but we're going to keep looking. Obviously, now we know there's an issue with his temper."

Tony Marrero can be reached at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.

Hernando detention deputy charged with child abuse is fired 01/23/14 [Last modified: Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:32pm]
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