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Two charged after doctor says boy’s tongue was cut with scissors

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO) — A Terre Haute couple was formally charged Friday in a child abuse case wherein a 1-year-old boy had a split tongue, an injury that a doctor said was likely caused by a tool like a pair of scissors.

Scott A. Edwards and Holly Cota were arrested last week after Cota took her son to the emergency room with severe bruising and a split tongue. She initially told hospital personnel the boy had fallen out of his crib, according to court documents.

The boy was transferred to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis where a doctor from the Child Protection Team noted the cut to the tongue appeared to be caused by a tool such as scissors.

Edwards, 33, was still in custody on $75,000 bond when he appeared in Vigo County Court Friday. He was charged with aggravated battery, battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years old and neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury.

According to court documents, the aggravated battery charged alleges Edwards knowingly or intentionally inflicted injury on the child causing the injury that led to a split tongue and missing piece of the tip of the tongue. The neglect charge alleges Edwards knowingly abandoned the boy or cruelly confined him resulting in serious injury including severe bruising and the split tongue.

Cota, 28, who was dating Edwards at the time of the arrest, was initially charged with obstruction of justice for knowingly lying to authorities and withholding information during the investigation. On Friday, Cota was also charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury for leaving her child with Edwards after observing severe bruising on the boy, according to court documents.

Not guilty pleas were entered for both defendants. Edwards’ case is scheduled for trial on July 9. He is also scheduled to appear in court again Feb. 4 for a bond reduction hearing. Cota’s trial was set for June 17.