Police arrested a couple on Tuesday after a child in their care was found to have what police called a "grotesquely deformed" hand as a result of untreated burns that left her missing an entire finger and parts of two other fingers. Fort Lauderdale Police spokesman Travis Mandell said he couldn't say why 29-year-old Kenneth Chevelier and 22-year-old Irma Mustamu "fled" Maryland for South Florida or whether the two had criminal records, but it sure looks like one of them does.
A search of Maryland court records under "Kenneth Chevelier" comes up empty, but his name was spelled differently in the police news release ("Chevelier") than it was on the probable-cause affadavit ("Chavelier"), and if you spell it a third way -- "Chevalier" -- you get a court case bonanza.
Unless there is another five-foot-five black man born on April 12, 1982, with that name, it looks like the Fort Lauderdale man accused of inhuman levels of child neglect has had at least 12 court cases in Maryland, some of which aren't yet closed.
There is also a Facebook profile for a man named "Kenneth Chevalier" who raps under the name Sha Val Yae; the profile says he is married to an Indonesian woman and has two children. It also links to a MySpace page that lists his current location as Fort Lauderdale and features songs like "Your So fine" and "I Love to Fuck."
(Mandell said he couldn't reveal whether the burned child actually belonged to the arrested couple.)
The most recent case that lists a birthdate that matches the Fort Lauderdale man's is from May 2010, about two months before the child was supposedly burned by soup somewhere in Maryland. Chevalier was pulled over at 1:30 a.m. and, for one reason or another, didn't give the officer his registration. He was fined $40.
He was also fined $25 for driving with a child not in a safety seat in 2009 and charged with illegally transporting a handgun in 2007. Chevalier's Facebook describes the incident as being "for carrying a hand gun in P.G. after recieving [sic] death threats from an unknown source."
Chevalier was also ordered to stay away from a Silver Spring, Maryland, woman after she requested a peace order from police in 2006. We contacted her to ask about the details of the case and to confirm Chevalier's picture but haven't heard back.
He also got out of second-degree-assault charges in 2004 when he pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property.
In 2001, Chevalier was charged with two counts of theft, one of malicious destruction of property, vagrancy, attempted unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, and, in a case that makes us wish Maryland police records were more readily accessible, one count of attempted unlawful use of a livestock motor vehicle. Infuriatingly, he does not elaborate on this on his social media pages.
Chevalier also has six open court cases as "Family Tiez Productions." Chevalier looks to owe almost $60,000 in taxes to the state, according to the records.