A woman jailed for 15 months in a child neglect case that involved a young girl in her care needing reconstructive nose surgery will be released in January to serve eight years on probation, a judge ruled Monday.
Tammy Tilson Elliott, 38, pleaded guilty in June to attempted aggravated child neglect and received eight years in jail. On Monday, her attorney, Jim Lonon, asked Cupp to allow his client to be released on probation.
After going through the injuries to the girl Elliott was caring for while the child’s parents were in jail, Cupp agreed to probation.
But the decision came only after Cupp pointed out his alarm at the girl’s injuries — razor injuries she allegeldy inflicted on herself while trying to shave like her uncle and a severe nose injury that eventually required surgery — and Elliott’s failure to get medical care.
“It’s troublesome to me,” Cupp said of the case. “The child should have been taken to the doctor.”
Lonon agreed with Cupp, but said his client had difficult financial hardships while caring for the girl and her sister, and he said there were several other adults living in the house at the same time the girl received the injuries.
Elliott was arrested 15 months ago after relinquishing custody of the 5-year-old girl — her husband’s brother’s girlfriend’s daughter — because she couldn’t take care of her any longer.
During a probation hearing in July, JCMC nurse Tessa Proffitt testified that when she documented the girl’s injuries, the child was very hungry and wanted to take food with her because there wasn’t enough at home for her and her younger sister.
Proffitt said the 5-year-old was small for her age and was losing her hair, which was thin and brittle, on the back of her head. This caused the nurse to believe the child was malnourished.
The girl is now in the custody of an aunt and doing well, Lonon and Assistant District Attorney General Erin McArdle said.