NHS student accused of burning baby pleads guilty

Kendrick Tarver mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.
Kendrick Tarver mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches High School student accused of burning an infant in water pleaded guilty in a Nacogdoches County courtroom.

Kendrick Tarver, 17, went before District Judge Campbell Cox to enter a guilty plea for injury to a child on Monday.

His sentencing hearing is set for Thursday.

If the case was going to trial, jury selection would have started January 30 and Tarver's trial would have been set to begin February 6.

A grand jury indicted the father after the 12-day-old infant was severely burned during a bath in July 2011.

Emergency room doctors found second and third degree burns to the baby's chin, stomach, genitals and buttocks. She was flown by helicopter to Shriner's Burn Unit.

According to a previous report, Tarver says he was giving the child a bath with a wash cloth. He eventually admitted spraying the baby directly out of the sprayer with scalding hot tap water. The mother blamed diaper rash.

"My opinion was it was an accident," said Treanna Carter, the baby's mother. "I mean, that's all I have to say at this point. It was an accident."

"He did not try to hurt his daughter on purpose," said Hattie Franklin, Tarver's mother. "It was an accident. He didn't have any parenting classes and he did not know what he was doing and I just wanted everyone to know that it was an accident and he never been in any trouble."

Child Protective Services reported the injury to the child seemed to be more inexperience and incomprehension than malice.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.