Pike County couple sentenced to prison for abusing 8-week-old son

A Pike County couple will spend a year and a half behind bars after they were found guilty of repeatedly abusing their 8-week-old son.

On May 9, a Pike County jury found Tarilyn Allie Lester Alexander and Joseph Tyler Alexander guilty of eight counts of aggravated battery and four counts of first-degree cruelty to children.

According to evidence provided in court, in the seven weeks since he was released from the hospital, the baby boy began to show bruising on his face and genitals and broken blood vessels in his eyes. By the time he was 8 weeks old, he had suffered 11 broken bones and hemorrhages in both eyes.

Joseph Tyler Alexander (Office of the District Attorney Griffin Judicial Circuit)

Officials say the boy had "suffered horrific abuse on multiple occasions." When asked about the injuries, the Alexanders could not explain what happened.

While investigating the case, doctors diagnosed the victim with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, an illness that is caused by defects in collagen that leads to serious joint problems. Doctors testified in court that the syndrome did not cause injuries like the one the boy suffered from.

Several doctors who treat patients with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome specifically testified that it does not cause injuries like those suffered by the victim. 

Joseph Tyler Alexander (Office of the District Attorney Griffin Judicial Circuit)

"The victim has not had one single broken bone since he was removed from the defendants’ care," the District Attorney for the Griffin Judicial Circuit said in a statement.

After deliberating for hours, the jury found the Alexanders guilty on 12 of their 16 counts. 

While they faced 240 years in prison, the judge sentenced the couple to 15 years probation with 18 months in custody.

Once they are released from prison, the couple will be allowed to have contact with their son.