CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A Johnson City mother accused of seriously injuring her infant child pleaded guilty in Carter County Criminal Court Friday.
According to First Judicial District Assistant Attorney General Dennis Brooks, Christina Niles pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated child abuse. Niles, 30, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Niles will have to serve the entirety of the sentence without the possibility of parole, Brooks informed News Channel 11.
Niles was first charged in February after police were called to the Niswonger Children’s Emergency Room. Court documents stated the eight-month-old child needed a ventilator to breathe after the injuries caused by Niles.
The child’s life was saved by medical professionals over the course of a long hospital stay, Brooks reported.
During a previous hearing, Johnson City police testified and discussed interviews with Niles and the child’s grandmother, Cheryl Hawkes. During the testimony, investigators said both women had told police about the child’s injuries, which included a fractured skull, a broken arm and burns.
Court documents detailed several of the child’s reported injuries and the way in which he was harmed. Niles had, at one point, held the child’s foot over a candle for about two minutes “because she was frustrated,” an affidavit of complaint reads.
The child’s fractured skull was likely the result of Niles throwing a wooden toy truck into the child’s playpen, which struck him on the head, the affidavit reads. Investigators reported finding toys with blood on them at Niles’ home after the child was hospitalized.
Hawkes, who allegedly shared an apartment with Niles and the infant, was also charged with five counts of aggravated child abuse and neglect. She is due in court later this year.