A local woman who frequently baby-sits in her home has been arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect. Melissa D. Walker, of 161 Melton Drive, was arrested on Aug. 1 and charged with the abuse of a five- month-old that was in her care.
According to the arrest warrant that was filed in Circuit Court of Benton County, Walker is accused of knowingly and intentionally committing the offense of aggravated child abuse by physically striking the infantís face, head, and stomach area.
The infant is the daughter of Kevin and Bernadette Trull. According to Bernadette, she dropped the infant off at 8 a.m. on July 17 and noticed bruising on the infant when she picked her up at 2 p.m. After immediately taking the infant to a doctor
, the couple was referred to the Child Advocacy Center in Jackson where the child underwent a CAT scan, two full body X- rays, and an eye exam. A forensic doctor was called in to analyze bruising found on the babyís body. Bernadette stated that initially she and her husband were investigated as possibly being the abusers.
Walker is the mother of three and has an infant close to the same age as the Trull baby. Phone calls left at the Walker home were returned but Walker declined comment under the advice of her attorney. The Department of Childrenís Services declined comment stating they do not talk with the press, referring any press calls to the corporate office in Nashville. Attempts to contact Attorney Terry Leonard, who represents Walker, were unsuccessful. Child abuse charges of this nature are a Class A felony. If convicted the sentence could range from 15 to 60 years. Walker is currently free on $50,000 bond.