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Teen mom charged with infant son's death

WATE 6 On Your Side staff - KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Police say a three-month-old baby whose mother dangled him over a balcony at apartment complex in Knoxville died from his injuries. His mother, 19-year-old Tierra Patrice Williamson now faces first degree murder charges in his death.

"The charge that she's been charged with is first degree murder," said Darrell Debusk with the Knoxville Police Department. "That's the most serious charge she can be charged with in this incident. If there are other charges to come that will be based on the investigation that is still ongoing."

The call came in around 8:20 p.m. Friday to an apartment complex at 1100 Lula Powell Drive. A 911 caller said the woman was threatening to drop the child, Adrian Prince Howell, Jr. from a third-floor balcony. When police arrived, they found the injured child inside the apartment. He was rushed to the hospital, where he later died.

Police say the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

"Once we are able to interview her, once we are able to get some additional information from the doctors, we hope to be able to put all that together to try to understand why this happened," said Debusk.

Williamson is still being treated at the hospital under guard. Once she is released from the hospital, she will be taken to the Roger D. Wilson Detention Center where she will be hold on $100,000 bond.

The community has put together a memorial at the apartment complex.

"They may have known this child and it hits them very hard," said Debusk. "I think if you look at the way the whole community is reacting this has been very devastating."


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