Jackson County man accused of abuse has charges upgraded after infant dies

JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. — Charges have been upgraded against a man in Jackson County who allegedly abused an infant who recently died.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said in a news conference Thursday that John Michael Tames, 24, is now charged with child abuse causing death after 3-month-old baby Everly died on Feb. 4.

Sheriff Ross Mellinger said the baby passed away as a result of the child abuse. He was visibly upset while providing an update on the case Thursday.

“These cases are never easy,” Mellinger said. “It’s very difficult for everybody.”

Deputies were initially called to Tames’ home in January for a report that the 3-month-old was in cardiac arrest. The child was eventually resuscitated and taken to a local hospital before being transferred to a hospital in Morgantown.

According to a criminal complaint, workers at the Morgantown hospital said the infant’s injuries “included skeletal fractures and brain hemorrhaging.”

“When you talk about a case like this, it’s hard to keep your personal side out of these types of things,” Mellinger said.

The case is around 30 days long for investigators and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

Mellinger added that Tames showed little remorse for what he did. Tames is now facing between 15 years to life in prison.

“I hope the judge absolutely hammers him when the day comes,” said Mellinger.