A mother faces a quarter-century behind bars for breaking her toddler’s arm.
The mother, Whitney Paige Hawkins, has been indicted on the charge of aggravated child abuse. The crime is a Class A Felony and is punishable by 15 to 25 years in prison. The child, along with her other children, have been taken from her custody as a result of the felony charges.
Hawkins was charged after doctors at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital diagnosed her 6-month-old son with a spiral fracture of his arm.
“She was the only one caring for the baby,” said McMinnville police detective Todd Rowland, noting the injury could have only been suffered while in her care.
The mother reportedly maintained she had picked her baby up from its play pen and it had twisted, causing the arm to fracture. Doctors from Vanderbilt disagree with her version of events.
“There has to be a forceful twisting motion to cause a spiral fracture,” Rowland noted.
Hawkins was the second parent Rowland had indicted for child abuse during the recent session of the grand jury. Another couple also face 25 years in prison for breaking their 2-month-old son’s leg multiple times.
“I’m seeing a common denominator,” Rowland said of the recent rash of horrific child abuse cases involving babies. “You have young mothers with multiple children who are overwhelmed and, I guess you could say, they just snap.”
The pressure, Rowland noted, is no excuse for harming a defenseless toddler since the baby looks to its mother and/ or father for safety.