Tupelo man charged with felony child abuse

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A 10-month-old child was in a Memphis hospital fighting for his life Wednesday and his mother’s boyfriend was in jail for allegedly causing his injuries.
Bond was set Wednesday at $250,000 for Jimmy Whitfield, 27, of Tupelo. He is charged with felony child abuse.
According to authorities, Whitfield allegedly struck the child in the head, causing severe brain trauma.
He is the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother and was the person at home with the child at the time of the incident.
The child is in Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis and remained in critical condition Wednesday, according to Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson.
After the child was taken to North Mississippi Medical Center on Monday, the authorities were called because of the severe injuries to his head. Johnson said the injuries were consistent with child abuse.
“After investigating, it was decided that there was no way these injuries to this child could have occurred without some sort of blunt-force trauma,” said Johnson. “These were some of the worst injuries we’ve ever seen in a suspected child abuse case.”
Johnson said the child, whose name is not being released, was taken off a breathing machine Wednesday morning, but could not breathe on his on so was placed back on it.
If the child dies, Johnson said, the charges against Whitfield will be upgraded.
He also said more people could be charged as the investigation continues.

Contact Danza Johnsonat (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@journalinc.com.