Kimberley Clark, mother of Gavin Clark, is asking for the community’s support in the dreadful days after the death of her grandson, 5-week-old Noah Clark. Gavin, 21, was charged with aggravated child abuse and first degree murder for Noah’s death. He is held in Coffee County Jail on a $2 million bond.
Noah was treated Saturday, Jan 4, in Tennova Healthcare - Harton in Tullahoma and was later transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for severe trauma. Noah succumbed to the injuries Sunday, Jan. 5.
‘He loved that baby so much’
This was not a murder but an accident, said Kimberley. Gavin tripped over a toy and the baby fell.
“Gavin went up to get the baby, because he was going to pick up his wife from work, and when he got the baby and got to the stairs, he tripped over a toy and the baby flew out of his arms,” Kimberley said. “He tried to catch the baby, but he couldn’t. They fell down the stairs. The baby was crying and was upset, but it seemed like the baby was okay because Gavin looked at him and thought everything was still okay. He had a little carpet burn on the nose and ear. Other than that, there wasn’t anything except for a busted lip and Gavin wiped that off. Noah even drank a bottle (of milk) and he was fine.”
Gavin thought he would pick up his wife, Savanah, and tell her what happened.
“He went and picked her up and told her what happened,” Kimberley said. “She looked at the baby, assessed the baby and couldn’t see anything really wrong with the baby. About 30 minutes later, Savannah noticed something – Noah just wasn’t the same.”
And that’s when they went to Tennova Healthcare - Harton.
“When they went to the hospital, Gavin was automatically accused of beating the baby,” said Kimberley.
He tried to explain what happened, but they didn’t believe him, she added.
“When the baby passed in Vanderbilt – when a baby passes, they do a white clay plaque with the handprints of the daddy, momma and the baby - and they wouldn’t allow his handprint on there,” Kimberley said through tears.
Law enforcement then took Gavin to jail.
“This is what happened,” Kimberley said. “This was a tragic accident, of getting the baby and tripping over a toy at the top of the stairs.
“Gavin loved that baby so much. He was so proud. He’s just not one that would do something like that. He’s not one of those monsters out there that would beat his wife and harm his kids. He would never do something like that to his kids.”
Investigators with the Manchester Police Department are still working on the case, and it’s their policy not to discuss ongoing cases.