Lexington parents in jail on child abuse charges; 6-week-old in critical condition

Piedmont Triad News

LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) –Two parents are in jail tonight after Davidson County Sheriff’s deputies said they abused their six-week-old baby girl.  

While that baby is in critical condition fighting for her life, the accusations are sending shock waves through the community.  

“You never know what goes on behind someone’s door when it shuts at night,” said neighbor James Palmer. 

What deputies said was happening behind one family’s door is child abuse.  

The people accused are the child’s parents:18-year-old Destiny Watts and 23-year-old Zachary Honeycutt, of Lexington. 

Deputies said they were tipped off after doctors discovered signs of abuse when the child was brought into the emergency room over the weekend.  

On Monday, the parents were arrested at their home and charged with felony child abuse.  

“I don’t think they were shocked or surprised. I think they were expecting us,” Detective Stephanie Murphy said. 

Court documents indicate Honeycutt violently and intentionally shook his six-week-old daughter and caused bleeding to the brain in four different locations. While Watts, the child’s mother, is charged with felony negligence child abuse.  

That baby girl is now hospitalized in critical condition.  

“The child is still receiving medical care, and they’re still trying to diagnose all the injuries,” Murphy explained.   

The couple’s neighbors told FOX8 that it’s a case they never thought would happen in their backyard.  

“You almost kind of feel a little guilty that you weren’t there to help beforehand. But if you don’t know about it, there’s no chance,” Palmer said.   

“It affects the whole neighborhood…everyone is hurt by this child being injured,” Sheriff Richie Simmons said.  

While the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate dozens of active criminal cases, they said the ones involving children never get easier.  

“There’s days when we go home, and we’re exhausted just from the emotional side of it,” Sgt. David Blake explained.   

They’re hoping you’ll be the difference maker by reporting signs of abuse. 

“Our biggest, truest victims are always our children,” Blake said. “If you see something, hear something, report it. Everybody is a mandatory reporter when it comes to child abuse.”

Deputies said there was another three-year-old daughter in the home, but she’s since been removed by child protective services. Deputies wouldn’t say whether there were signs of abuse on that child as well.  

Watts and Honeycuttt are in the Davidson County Jail under $200,000 secured bonds.  

Their next court appearance is on Dec. 3.

The number for the Child Abuse Hotline is 1-800-4-A-CHILD or 1-800-422-4453. You can call or text this number. 

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