Man charged with child abuse in case involving two-year-old

By Abby Morris

An Elizabethton man has been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged child abuse case which has left a two-year-old child unconscious and in an intensive care hospital unit for three weeks.
   Robert Allen Blevins, 30, 121 Townview Estates, Apt. 1, was arrested by Carter County Sheriff's Department officers Wednesday afternoon after a grand jury handed down an indictment Monday charging him with aggravated child abuse.
   According to police reports, Blevins was taking care of his girlfriend's two-year-old son on Oct. 16. At approximately 1 a.m., Blevins called the mother and informed her that the child had hit his head on the couch and would not wake up. He then took the child to the Johnson City Medical Center for treatment. Hospital officials notified officers of the incident.
   "He told us nothing had happened," said CCSD Investigator Audrey Covington. "But the people at the hospital told us that the injuries were comparable to falling off of a one story building."
   The pediatric doctor who attended to the toddler reported the baby had subdural hematomas (a rapidly clotting blood collection below the inner layer of the dura but external to the brain) and epidural hematomas (a traumatic accumulation of blood between the inner table of the skull and the stripped-off dural membrane). Both forms of hematomas are related to blunt force trauma and blows to the head, according to medical definitions of the conditions.
   In addition, the child also suffered hemorrhaging of both retinas, according to police reports. The doctor, along with a neuro-surgeon and an optomologist, advised Covington that the injuries were that of a "non-accidental trauma."
   Blevins' bond is set at $100,000, and he is scheduled for arraignment in Criminal Court on Nov. 15. The child remains in intesive care at the Johnson City Medical Center and has not yet regained consciousness.