Ricky Dean Smith entered a plea of “no contest” to a charge of aggravated child abuse on Tuesday in Bradley County Criminal Court. Judge Carroll Ross imposed a sentence of 15 years in prison in response to the plea.
The case was investigated by the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office. Smith, who is now 23 years old, was arrested by detectives on Jan. 4, 2013 – the day a five-week-old child was admitted to T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital with skull fractures and bleeding on the brain.
The investigation revealed Smith to be the person responsible for the child’s injuries, authorities said. He was later indicted by the Bradley County Grand Jury and has been incarcerated in the county jail under a judge’s order of no bond.
After a period of treatment the child was released from the hospital.