Butler man gets 8-year sentence in incident that injured daughter
A Butler man has pled guilty to a charge in connection with a March 2013 incident that sent a 5-week-old child to the hospital with what police called “very serious, life-threatening injuries.”
Matthew Clemons, 31, of Butler, pled guilty to one count of attempted aggravated child abuse, a Class B felony, as part of a plea agreement in Criminal Court on May 23. He was sentenced to 8 years in prison. He will also have to pay a $50 fine.
Clemons was originally charged with aggravated child abuse, a Class A felony, but the charge was reduced as part of the plea agreement.
The charges against Clemons stem from an incident in March 2013 where his 5-week-old infant daughter was rushed to the hospital for treatment of injuries that medical professionals said were consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
Elizabethton Police Department Investigator Chris Bowers told the Elizabethton Star at the time of Clemons’ arrest that the man called 911 on March 13 at 6 p.m., approximately 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 for 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.