A Dillsboro woman suspected of assaulting her granddaughter earlier this week was arrested by Jackson County authorities on Friday.
Lisa Plank Hart, 45, of Cat Tail Drive, faces felony counts of child abuse with serious bodily injury, assault inflicting serious bodily injury and negligent child abuse with serious bodily injury.
Hart's charges stem from an incident that occurred last Wednesday, when Jackson County Sheriff's Officers responded to a report of an in regards to an unconscious 28 month old female. Deputies were assisted by Med West Emergency Medical Services and Sylva Fire Department First Responders.
After arriving, Med West paramedics transported the child to Harris Regional Hospital, where they were met by a Mountain Area Medical Airlift helicopter (MAMA). The child was subsequently transported to Mission Hospital in Asheville.
According to a JCSO press release, investigators within the Sheriff's Office, Department of Social Services and doctors from Mission Hospital are still investigating the incident to determine how the child came to be unconscious. Mission Hospital has stated at the child is in “very critical condition.”
On September 2, Jackson reportedly obtained a warrant for Hart's arrest. According to reports, Hart was the child's grandmother and was providing care for the child at the time of the assault that allegedly led to the child becoming unconscious.
“The investigation shows the grandmother not only assaulted the juvenile child leading to the injuries documented, but also failed to obtain timely medical assistance for those injuries sustained which delayed necessary medical aid for the juvenile child,” reads Friday's release.
According to authorities, Hart was arrested at Mission Hospital, with assistance from the Asheville Police Department.
Hart was transported to the Jackson County Magistrate's Office by JCSO deputies and was issued a $75,000 secured. The suspect remains in the custody of the Jackson County Detention Center.
At a 96 hour hearing, public defender John Barrett was appointed to represent Hart. The suspect is scheduled to appear in Superior Court on September 13.
A bond increase has been requested due to the potential flight risk and seriousness of the crimes committed, however as of Friday no such increase was obtained.
“This case is still under investigation and no further comment or statements will be given until such time is appropriate” concluded the press release. More coverage of this matter will be reported as developments unravel.