Anderson County deputies said the mother of a 2-year-old girl who died after suffering a traumatic brain injury has been charged in the child’s death.
Deputies said Laura Griffin was arrested Thursday and charged with homicide by child abuse.
Deputies said they began investigating after being called to the hospital on April 17 for a possible child abuse case.
The victim, Evelynn "Evie" Leonhardt, was pronounced dead on April 21 after she was taken off life support, the coroner said.
The coroner said Evie died from cerebral edema/subdural hemorrhage secondary to blunt force trauma.
Deputies said charges were filed against Evie’s mother as a result of the investigation into the child’s death.
According to the arrest warrant, Griffin was the only adult present when the child suffered blunt force trauma.
Griffin is being held at the Anderson County Detention Center. She was denied bond at a hearing on Friday afternoon around 5:30 p.m. and will have to appear before a circuit court judge.
Griffin declined to issue a statement at the hearing, but Evie's paternal grandmother, Michele Floyd, asked for bond to be denied due to Griffin's "extreme heartless violent actions."
Floyd was visibly emotional in court, as was Evie's father Daniel Leonhardt.
Leonhardt spoke after the hearing, saying he felt satisfaction in the fact Griffin was denied bond. He said the two were in a relationship for four years and he never imagined this would happen.
He was moved to tears as he read an engraving on a necklace given to him by Floyd: "Jesus has you in his arms but Daddy will always have you in his heart. Justice for Evie."
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