published Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Falling shoe rack injured infant son, Crossville, Ala., mother says

A 20-year-old Crossville, Ala., woman who claimed a falling shoe rack injured her infant son is facing an indictment charging her with child abuse in what medical officials called "nonaccidental trauma."

The baby's mother, Sabrina Sprayberry, was charged on an indictment earlier this week with aggravated child abuse, DeKalb County Sheriff's Office Detective Craig White said. She's free on $25,000 bond.

Sprayberry called 911 to report her son had fallen at their Crossville home and needed medical help. The incident happened on Aug. 11, 2013.

"The mother called 911 saying her son was having some type of a seizure," White said. "The ambulance came, but the mother wound up transporting the child to [Marshall Medical Center] in Boaz, Ala.

"The injury was significant enough that the hospital in Boaz called in a helicopter to fly the baby in to Children's [of Alabama] hospital in Birmingham where surgery was done," he said.

The detective said the injury was diagnosed as a "subdural hematoma."

Sprayberry claimed that the 8-month-old boy was in a room for a few minutes by himself when a small shoe rack fell on him, but "the mechanism of injury didn't explain the injury," White said.

That launched an investigation and consultation with the district attorney and a November presentation to the DeKalb County grand jury, he said.

White said Sprayberry has no criminal history in DeKalb County.

Sheriff Jimmy Harris called the incident "sad when a child is injured, especially a child of this age."

Investigators don't have an updated report on whether the baby has suffered any long-term or permanent damage from the injury, White said. The infant is still under state Department of Human Resources care, he said.

Sprayberry faces a Jan. 28 arraignment before Circuit Court Judge Jeremy Taylor.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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