Couple charged with abuse after infant dies following exposure t - WRBL

Update: Couple charged with abuse after infant dies following exposure to meth

Posted: Updated:
Jerry McLaughlin (Source: Carter County Sheriff's Office) Jerry McLaughlin (Source: Carter County Sheriff's Office)
Stephanie Bowman (Source: Carter County Sheriff's Office) Stephanie Bowman (Source: Carter County Sheriff's Office)
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ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL) -

UPDATE: According to Assistant District Attorney Dennis Brooks blunt injury to the head is the cause of the child's death.

 


 

The parents of an eight month-old child that passed away more than a year ago now face charges of attempted aggravated child abuse for allegedly exposing the infant to methamphetamine leading up to the baby's death.

Elizabethton police say a recent Carter County Grand Jury presentment charges 26 year-old Jeffrey McLaughlin and 22 year-old Stephanie Bowman each with one count of attempted aggravated child abuse.

We're told an investigation by the Elizabethton Police Department and the Department of Children Services revealed the couple's eight month-old, who died in November 2012, was exposed to meth.

Investigators say there is evidence that McLaughlin and Bowman both used meth. In addition, they also say testing on the child showed the baby was exposed to meth.

Police say they have been investigating this alleged crime since November 20th, 2012 when they and Carter County EMS responded to the couple's apartment on Bluefield Avenue and found the unresponsive infant there.

Captain Joy Markland with the Elizabeth Police Department said unfortunately this isn't the first time they've investigated a child's death with a possible connection to drug exposure.

"There is a tremendous amount of emotion involved with it, there's also a tremendous amount of people that it actually affects, the family, other individuals... over all it's a tragedy," Markland said.

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