Brother defends former soldier accused of child abuse - WKRN News 2

Brother defends former soldier accused of child abuse

Posted: Updated: May 01, 2014 11:59 PM
Police said baby Rowan suffered severe abuse. Police said baby Rowan suffered severe abuse.
Thomas Hendrix faces child abuse charges for injuries to his girlfriend’s baby. Thomas Hendrix faces child abuse charges for injuries to his girlfriend’s baby.
FAIRVIEW, Tenn. - The brother of a former soldier accused of child abuse is defending his family.

Fairview police arrested Thomas Hendrix, 25, on April 14 and charged him with multiple counts of child abuse. He’s accused of harming his girlfriend’s two-month-old son Rowan, leaving him with broken ribs and bleeding in the brain.

Hendrix’s older brother, Ben, says Thomas is innocent. He told News 2 that he lived with his brother and the baby’s mother, Jennifer Barnes, and never saw any signs of abuse.

“I think there is a chance that someone else might have hurt that baby,” he explained.

At one point during his interview with News 2, Ben blamed Barnes for the baby’s injuries. When asked about marks on the child's hands, he responded, “I've seen Jennifer grab the baby out of his hands on more than one occasion.”

Ben went on to say that Fairview police rushed to judgment about his brother because he had previously spent 16 months in military prison for abusing his five-year-old daughter in 2010.

Police initially looked at Barnes as a suspect in the case, but she was quickly cleared in the investigation. According to internal documents obtained by News 2, investigators call Barnes credible, while Thomas Hendrix is described as frequently deceptive.

The report also stated that he admitted to lying during interrogations.

Thomas Hendrix remains behind bars on $100,000 bond.

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