Blount County man charged with child abuse faces grand jury

Blount County man charged with child abuse faces grand jury

Posted:
Jami Gregory appeared in court Friday. His child abuse case has been sent to the grand jury. Jami Gregory appeared in court Friday. His child abuse case has been sent to the grand jury.
November Gregory testified she noticed something was wrong with her daughter Naiomi when she was changing her diaper. November Gregory testified she noticed something was wrong with her daughter Naiomi when she was changing her diaper.

By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) - A Blount County man accused of abusing his infant daughter will now face a grand jury.

Jami Dean Gregory, 30, is charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect after allegedly leaving bruises on his now two-month-old daughter last month.

The incident happened October 25 at Gregory's home in Walland.

Three witnesses were called during the preliminary hearing Thursday, including the mother of the baby, Gregory's wife November Gregory.

She was the first to get help after she came home from running an errand to find bruises and a scratch on her daughter's head.

November Gregory says she noticed something was wrong with her daughter Naiomi when she was changing her diaper.

"I took Naiomi to my sister's when I saw a bruise," November Gregory said.

The family took the infant to Blount Memorial Hospital before moving her to East Tennessee Children's Hospital. Dr. Marymer Perales says the injuries were similar to those caused by a bicycle or car wreck.

"When I see bruises of this extent, I think of a lot of force," Dr. Perales said.

Perales said the bruises covered much of Naomi's body, and the baby's liver enzymes were elevated, which indicates internal trauma.

Blount County Detective Jennifer Dalton investigated the case. Jami Gregory first told her the bruises were caused accidentally when the baby fell out of a chair.

However, when Dalton searched the home, she says she quickly saw things didn't add up. After questioning him a second time, Gregory's story changed. 

"He stated that he had been very frustrated with the infant, because she had been crying all day. He stated that he wasn't getting any help from anybody, he was all alone with the infant. She wouldn't stop crying," Dalton said.

Dalton says Gregory then told her he was sitting on the couch with his daughter when he snapped out of frustration.

"As he was playing video games and watching TV, watching a movie I'm sorry, he got frustrated, and out of frustration hit the back of the bouncy seat, which propelled her out and then on top of the toy," Dalton said.

Gregory's attorney William Slater asked for the $150,000 bail to be reduced to $15,000, saying his client's no-contact order from all children was enough to ensure public safety. The judge denied this request.

This isn't the first time Jami Gregory has been involved with child abuse. His 14-month-old son drowned in a bath tub in 2010. Charges were dropped against him in that case. He served time for separate child abuse charges in 2009. 

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