Man charged after not getting help for hurt baby, officials say

WAAY 31 talked with some of the man's neighbors about what happened.

Posted: Dec 14, 2018 7:53 PM

WAAY 31 has learned more about what happened to a baby girl whose own father is charged with aggravated child abuse.

Deputies tell us John McLemore dropped his infant and failed to get her medical help.

WAAY 31 talked with some of his neighbors about what happened.

“There’s no better happiness in the world than your children," Greg Austin said.

That’s how Austin describes what it’s like being a dad.

“When something happens, no matter how embarrassing it is to yourself, you have to take care of your kids," he said.

So, Austin was stunned to learn his neighbor is accused of harming his little girl and not getting her to a doctor.

“It’s horrible, it’s crazy. You don’t even understand why somebody would do something like that," Austin said. "[Your children] are the most important things in the world.”

Police were called to the home on Burwell Road late Thursday morning, where they found the baby was injured. Relatives said the baby's 20-year-old father may be responsible, and, based on his social media posts, he was suicidal.

Police put nearby Sparkman and Jeff Road schools on lockout while they searched for McLemore. He came back to the house about an hour later and police arrested him.

In the meantime, medics took the baby to Huntsville Hospital, but she's now recovering at UAB.

“We just pray for that baby, that no permanent damage happens to that baby," Austin said.

“I spoke with the grandparents of the little girl, and while they weren’t ready to go on camera.. They told me their granddaughter is doing a lot better, and they’d appreciate all the prayers they can get.

McLemore is still in the Madison County Jail on a $30,000 bond.

Deputies won't release his mug shot, because he's younger than 21 years old.

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