CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Two Johnson City women were arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect on Monday.
According to a release from the Johnson City Police Department, officers responded to Niswonger Children’s Emergency Room on Monday in reference to alleged child abuse that occurred at an apartment in the Johnson City limits of Carter County.
In the release, investigators said Christina Niles abused her eight-month-old child allegedly causing “serious bodily injury.”
Police say Cheryl Hawkes, the eight-months-old’s grandmother, failed to protect the child from the alleged abuse by Niles. She was also charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect.
Affidavits for Niles and Hawkes obtained by News Channel 11 detail the state of the infant when investigators arrived at the emergency room. Investigators report that the child had undergone CPR and was in “crucial condition” with bruises on his head and body.
The affidavits state the child had abrasions across his body and appeared to have swelling to his head. Medical staff reportedly told investigators the child had a featured skull and was reliant on a ventilator Monday night.
Additionally, investigators reported that the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) informed them that the infant had a broken arm, which was discovered on Jan. 27.
Court documents state the child was brought to the emergency room by Niles, who reportedly said in an interview that she had thrown a wooden truck “in an attempt to get it into a play pen,” when it hit the infant. Niles told investigators she believes that led to the fractured skull, the affidavit states.
Niles reportedly said the incident with the wooden truck occurred on Jan. 27.
Investigators reported that Niles admitted to other instances in which she had held the child’s foot over a candle and pinched his ear, both allegedly done out of frustration. She also said injuries related to cigarette ash and falling off the couch while unsupervised had occurred, according to the affidavits.
In her own interview, Hawkes reportedly told investigators that she had previously felt the need to intervene when she saw Niles becoming frustrated with the child and had seen her daughter yell, scream and shake the infant on numerous occasions.
Niles and Hawkes were arrested and transported to the Carter County Detention Center and are being held on a $50,000 bond. Both are set to appear in Carter County General Sessions Court on Wednesday at 9 a.m.