8-week-old baby boy has 11 broken bones, eye hemorrhages; parents arrested

PIKE COUNTY, GA – A couple from Pike County has been sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by probation after a harrowing case of child abuse was unveiled in court. Tarilyn Allie Lester Alexander and Joseph Tyler Alexander were convicted of causing severe and repeated harm to their 8-week-old infant son.

The couple faced a jury on May 9 and were found guilty on numerous charges, including eight counts of aggravated battery and four counts of first-degree cruelty to children. Through the testimony and evidence presented during the trial, it was revealed that the child bore signs of abuse, including bruises on his face and private areas, broken blood vessels in his eyes, and ultimately, 11 fractured bones and hemorrhages in both eyes – all before he was two months old.

Seeking to understand the extent of the injury, medical experts considered the possibility of underlying health conditions. It emerged during the investigation that the infant was diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting collagen in the body and leading to joint issues. However, medical professionals specializing in this syndrome testified that the disorder would not result in the type of injuries the child sustained, undermining the defense’s implication that the child’s condition could have been a contributing factor to his injuries.

Notably, since being taken into protective custody and away from the Alexanders, the child has not sustained any further fractures, a point underscored by the District Attorney of the Griffin Judicial Circuit. This detail significantly reinforced the argument that the injuries were a direct result of abuse.

The conviction of the Alexanders resulted after the jury deliberated for several hours, finding them guilty on 12 of the 16 counts charged against them. The gravity of the crimes could have resulted in the couple facing up to 240 years in prison; however, the judge issued a sentence of 15 years of probation with an initial 18 months to be served in custody.

Upon the conclusion of their prison term, the Alexanders will be granted the right to contact their son, a decision which has not gone without concern from the public. The case has highlighted the tragic reality of child abuse within the home and the ongoing battle within the judicial system to balance punishment with rehabilitation and the rights of parental contact.