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Man and girlfriend charged in extreme child abuse of 4-year-old

By Dan Lampariello
By dlampariello@wbbjtv.com

MCNAIRY COUNTY, Tenn. -- A father and his girlfriend have been officially charged in the extreme child abuse that left a 4-year-old on life-support.

The father, Anthony Deon Dilworth, 39, has been charged with aggravated child abuse and his girlfriend, Kyrie Marie Kyle 26, has been charged with aggravated child abuse and aggravated assault.

"This doesn't happen here," community member Rickey Dale Alexander said. "We live in such a peaceful little quiet town."

Alexander created a makeshift memorial in front of the home where just two days earlier a 4-year-old boy was beaten within an inch of his life.

"I placed some flowers and put up a sign that says 'so sorry our society failed you, baby boy. Your community will always love you,'" Alexander said.

Sheriff Guy Buck, with the McNairy County Sheriff's Department, says child is clinging to life.

"The child is on life support, still extremely critical," Sheriff Buck said. "The prognosis is not good at this time."

Neighbors who lived next door to the family are still shocked by what happened.

"We're supposed to take care of them and nurture them," neighbor Byan Wallin said. "That's just one of the most awful things I can imagine."

Overall, community members feel justice must be served.

"Whatever the outcome is for them, it will never be good enough," Alexander said. "You don't beat your kids."

According to Sheriff Buck, a 3-year-old girl also lived in the home, but says she did not suffer any abuse. She's currently in the custody of extended family members.

The court date for Dilworth and Kyle have not yet been set. The Sheriff's Department says more charges may be filed depending on the condition of the child.