Suspects to appear in court on child abuse charges - WSMV Channel 4

Suspects to appear in court on child abuse charges

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Five people charged with neglecting a young child last year will appear in court Thursday. The boy suffered a terrible injury, and his mom is fighting to know how it happened.

Kingston White is an energetic 18-month-old, unaware, it seems, of what has his mother so upset.

"It was crazy. I never in my life thought I would experience anything like that," said mother Larysa Hamilton.

Last June, Hamilton sent young Kingston to stay with his father's family. She says she got a call that Kingston had bitten his tongue, but everything was okay.

But when she picked him up, she saw that, somehow, Kingston's tongue sliced down the middle.

"So his tongue was literally in half, like a serpent," Hamilton said.

Four adults were inside the house at the time. Each, Hamilton said, told a different story about what happened.

"First, it was that he bit his tongue. Then, he has a twin sister and they said they she kicked him in the mouth. But it was a vertical slit, so I'm not sure how that happened," Hamilton said. "Now, it's that they left him to go get a bottle, and they came back and he was bleeding."

Police determined that what happened was not an accident and that none of the adults bothered to call police or a doctor.

Each was charged with aggravated child neglect, along with Kingston's father, who police said failed to contact authorities when he arrived to the home.

The attorney for two of the defendants said it was all an accident, and the father of another defendant said his daughter is being wrongly prosecuted.

"It was not her child, she was not present when the child was injured or hurt. She was in another room preparing food," said James Barnett, father of defendant Sheila Barnett.

These days, Kingston White is doing fine. His tongue has healed, and his injuries did not require surgery.

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