Mother of Lincoln County charged with felony child abuse

A Lincoln County woman is accused of abusing her 14-month-old son.

Mary Ann Carter, 43 of Stanley, is charged with felony child abuse with serious injury.

A neighbor who wished to remain anonymous said he never would have known child abuse was going on just a few doors down.

“I never saw anything unpleasant. It was always just kids playing,” the neighbor told WBTV.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received reports from the Department of Social Services on March 15 about an injury to a baby’s leg. An X-ray showed a fracture in the boy’s tibia.

“It’s my first encounter with anything like that. I don’t even know where to start. It’s a surprise to me,” the neighbor said.

During the investigation, detectives found bruises and head injuries on the baby. Lincoln County EMS took the baby to Levine’s Children Center in Charlotte where they discovered he had a fractured skull and brain bleeding.

Neighbors weren’t the only ones shaken up by the injuries the boy suffered. Deputies working the case were also affected.

“I’m a father and a grandfather. My kids got bruises growing up. My grandkids get bruises. This child, at this young age, you have to look further,” said Captain Tim Johnson.

Deputies said if they had arrived at Carter’s home later than they did, it might have been too late.

“It’s just a godsend they were there when they were there,” Capt. Johnson said.

The child has since been released from the hospital and put in the care of foster parents.

Carter is in the Harven A Crouse Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond. She appeared in court Monday morning.