By Nathan Baker
The father of a 5-week-old infant faces an aggravated child abuse charge after the girl was rushed to the hospital with injuries medical professionals say are consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
Elizabethton Police Department investigator Chris Bowers said 29-year-old Matthew Lee Clemons of Butler was arrested Tuesday after an indictment last week by a Carter County grand jury.
According to Bowers, Clemons called 911 on March 13 at 6 p.m., three hours after the child’s mother left for work, to report that his baby daughter was having trouble breathing.
The infant was taken by ambulance to Sycamore Shoals Hospital, then rushed by helicopter to the Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City and finally to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville for treatment to what Bowers classified as “very serious, life-threatening injuries.”
While at the Johnson City hospital, EPD investigators were contacted because of the severity and nature of the baby’s injuries, he said.