Grandmother Speaks Out about Grandson's Abuse - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Grandmother Speaks Out about Grandson's Abuse

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Aiden Waller's grandmother, Kim Kellam. Aiden Waller's grandmother, Kim Kellam.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A mother and father are now both in jail, charged with abusing their baby boy.

WTOC first told you about this case of child abuse last week. 10-month-old Aiden Waller is still in critical condition with head injuries and he has bruises all over his body. He's been at Memorial University Medical Center since last Monday. See 10-Month-Old in Critical Condition, Deputies Say Mother is to Blame.

Today, Effingham County Sheriff's Department deputies charged Aiden's father, Phillip Waller, with cruelty to a child.

Police arrested Waller's girlfriend and the baby's mother, Tina Richards last week. She is charged with cruelty to a child and the more serious charges of aggravated assault and aggravated battery. Richards was also arrested for child abuse back in July. See Mother Charged With Abusing Her Baby Has Already Plead Guilty Once Before To Abuse.

How did she regain custody of him? That's a question many of you have been asking WTOC and it's a question that haunts Aiden's grandmother, Kim Kellam, as well.

Kellam hadn't seen him since last Halloween. Now she says she visits Aiden in the hospital every day before she goes to work. Paramedics rushed Aiden to Memorial a week ago. Kellam says Aiden's brain is swollen and he's on a ventilator.

"He's just so sweet and peaceful, he'll pull through. It's just going to take a long, long time," Kellam said.

Effingham County said Aiden's mother and father abused him, saying she duct taped his mouth shut and tied him up. Deputies found bruises on Aiden's arm and around his head.

Just hearing what her young grandson endured makes Kellam sick. "I love my daughter but I hate my daughter," she said. "There's no excuse for what she did and if I have anything to do with it she will never see that child again."

Kellam said she first discovered the abuse in July and she reported her daughter to the authorities. Deputies arrested Richards back then. She pled guilty in November and was sentenced to five years probation. Then in December, Kellam says the Department of Family and Children Services returned Aiden to his mother. He was staying with his grandfather.

Kellam said, "I said this is a mistake, she's going to do it again, this is a big mistake and here we are five weeks later maybe and now he's fighting for his life."

The Department of Family and Children Services will not comment about this case. Kellam said they also won't return her calls. "Somebody messed up and I believe it was DFACS and I don't want this to ever happen to another child because they don't deserve it."

Kellam feels like no one was fighting for what's best for Aiden. Now it's a fight she has taken on and is determined to win.

"I want everybody to know what happened to my little boy, my little buddy, it's not fair," she said. "They turned their backs on me the last time. He's tough, he's going to pull through."

Richards will have a hearing to revoke her probation. A judge could order her to spend the remainder of her five years on probation in jail.

As for these new charges for Richards and her boyfriend, Phillip Waller, a grand jury will hear the case as early as this March.

The Georgia Department of Human Resources oversees the Department of Family and Children Services. A spokeswoman from Human Resources says DFACS is now a part of three investigations, one with law enforcement, one with the Department of the Inspector General and their own internal investigation.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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