Ex-soldier faces child abuse charges for 2nd time

Ex-soldier faces child abuse charges for 2nd time (Image 1)

A former soldier is back behind bars, facing child abuse charges for a second time.

Thomas Hendrix was arrested Tuesday after a Williamson County Grand Jury handed down a three count indictment for allegedly injuring his girlfriend's now six-month-old son.

Authorities told Nashville's News 2 Investigates the 25-year-old previously did 16 months in military jail for abusing his own infant daughter in 2010 before he was dishonorably discharged.

On Tuesday, News 2 spoke with Hendrix's girlfriend, Jennifer Barnes, who said she discovered bruising on her son's hands in January when she took him to a doctor's appointment.  

“As soon as I unwrapped him, my heart sank,” Barnes recalled. “I went and got the nurses and said, ‘Please tell me this is just ink.' I tried to wipe it off and it wouldn't come off.”

Rowan was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he was found to have broken ribs and bleeding in the brain.

Investigators quickly turned their attention to Hendrix.

“The injuries were suspicious,” said Detective Bohler with the Fairview police.

According to documents obtained by News 2, Hendrix gave contradictory statements about Rowan's injuries, who was allegedly in his care the day the injuries were discovered.

His brother, Ben Hendrix, however, refutes the allegations against his brother.

“This did not happen,” he said. “The day the child was hurt I was there the whole day with my brother, Jennifer and her eight-year-old son. I was here. That day in question that it supposedly happened. I saw nothing to lead me to believe that child was hurt by him.”

He added, “I don't know I just know that the day it happened, it didn't happen here in my house. Me and Thomas and the baby were here and I saw nothing to indicate that.”

Thomas Hendrix remains in the Williamson County Jail under $100,000 bond.

Police said he has been arrested previously for domestic assault.

Rowan is expected to make a full recovery.

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