By Jessie Williams
Four Macon County residents were indicted by a grand jury this month and arrested by local enforcement for aggravated child abuse charges under Haley’s Law.
The individuals arrested were Tara Hall, age 29; Greg Noles, age 43; Travis Bisker, age 33; and Jessie Stewart, age 32.
The children involved in these cases have all tested positive for methamphetamine following hair follicle tests, and have been removed from their homes.
The tests were conducted following evidence from investigations into either lack of supervision or drug use in the home.
The Department of Childrens Services will either place these children with an eligible family member or in foster care, if there are no other options.
Haley’s Law constitutes aggravated child abuse or aggravated child neglect. The law makes it a Class A felony to abuse a child under the age of 9 in a way that leads to bodily injury. A Class A felony is punishable by a minimum 15-year sentence with a maximum of 60 years or life in prison. Under the state law, serious bodily injury means bodily injury involving a substantial risk of death, and carries with it enhanced punishment.
Haley’s Law was passed following a 2004 case in East Tennessee when “Baby Haley” was found badly abused with burns all over her body. Her eyes were swollen shut and her ears bleeding. She has since made a dramatic recovery.
According to local law enforcement, these kind of cases are all too common in Macon County. Six indictments under Haley’s Law were handed down in October 2019 by the grand jury.