Ashley Marie Cowan Held Without Bond While Injured Infant Released From Hospital

More on the case of the Gate City woman that is accused of abusing and seriously injuring her one year old child by causing bleeding on the brain and blindness according to  a Press Release from the Scott County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office concerning the arrest of Ashley Marie Cowan  with indictments of Felony Child Abuse as well as Felony Child Neglect were leveled by a Scott County Grand Jury.
Dan Fellhauer, the Commonwealth's Attorney stated that an investigation was launched spurred on by the infant being treated for bilateral retinal hemorrhages at Niswonger Children's Hospital in Johnson City. Further medical exams showed what appear to be numerous non-accidental subdural bilateral hematomas, or brain bleeds that have resulted in blindness.
When Cowan was questioned by social workers at the hospital concerning the child's injuries she attacked them and has since been convicted of the assaults. As for the child abuse case, several agencies were involved in the ongoing investigation including the Scott County Department of Social Services, Tennessee Social Services, the Scott County Sheriff's Office and the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
Fellhauer stated that, "Scott County does not have a hospital or similar treatment facility, which makes it very difficult to quickly coordinate investigations and prosecutions across state lines." Adding "Scott County was able to indict this defendant thanks to a change in law that took effect on July 1st that was sponsored by the 6th District Delegate Jeff Campbell, from Smyth County, and passed with unanimous support in the House and Senate."
The new Virginia law allows prosecutors and law enforcement to take jurisdiction in child abuse cases if the child resided in Virginia at the time of the violence. In the past offenders have often relocated to other jurisdictions to avoid prosecution but that is no longer the case in rural communities like Scott County.
Cowan continues to be held in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail without bond. The infant has since been released from the hospital but continues to receive medical treatment.

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