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Injured Infant In Critical Condition

A Henderson County infant remains in critical condition Monday night after being hospitalized with head injuries. Sheriff's investigators say the trauma came at the hands of his mother's fiance. 

Sheriff's detectives say the mother was at work Wednesday afternoon and 23-year-old Justin Pate was babysitting at her home. There was a 911 call from the suspect at 2:30 p.m. saying there had been an accident and that the infant was unresponsive and needed help.

Emergency crews arrived and first rushed the little boy to Pardee Hospital, then up to Mission Hospital in Asheville for critical care. Injuries include retinal hemorrhaging and swelling of the brain. The child is being being kept on what officials are calling "advanced life-support treatment".

The arrest warrant indicates Pate did intentionally commit felony assault. Pate of Mountain Home is charged with felony child abuse inflicting serious injury. His bond is set at $200,000 because authorities believe he could be a flight risk.   By Frank Kracher

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankKracher


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