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Etowah man admits to injuring baby

11:19 PM, Jun 25, 2013   |    comments
Elijah Schmalz
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An East Tennessee man is in jail after police say he admitted to injuring his baby niece.

According to a police report with the Etowah Police Department, Elijah Schmalz,25, of Etowah took his two-month-old niece to the hospital on July 14th.

Schmalz had custody of his sister's child, Addia.

He said her leg was injured and he didn't know why. After an exam, she was transported to East Tennessee Children's Hospital where a police report says a scan showed her brain was bleeding.

Several days later, Schmalz called police and during an interview told them he had hurt the baby. He told police he had recently gotten off active duty military and didn't realize the financial stress of taking custody of his sister's baby.

He demonstrated to officers with a teddy bear how she shook her during what he called a "black out."

The police report says a doctor diagnosed her with Shaken Baby Syndrome.

A grand jury indicted Schmalz. He was arrested on Thursday and remains in the McMinn County jail.

He is charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect.


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