Brighton mother charged in death of 4-year-old daughter

Amber Swayne (Courtesy Tipton County Sheriff's Department)
Amber Swayne (Courtesy Tipton County Sheriff's Department)

BRIGHTON, TN (WMC-TV) - After nearly two months of investigating, authorities have arrested and charged the 25-year-old mother of three with felony murder and aggravated child abuse.

Amber Swayne didn't look at the camera as deputies escorted her into the Tipton County Jail.

As soon as she got inside, Swayne was put behind bars - charged with killing her 4-year-old daughter inside a Brighton home back in July.

"The child died as a result of forty-one percent of her body being burned with 2nd and 3rd degree burns and complications as a result of these burns," said Donna Turner of the Tipton County Sheriff's Department.

Officials say the 4-year-old was burned while Swayne was giving her a bath.  But Swayne claims the child's death was an accident.

In July, Swayne and her boyfriend moved in with his parents in Brighton.

"I just started out to try to help them because they had no place to stay," Bobby Jones said.

In an unrelated case, Jones' son Bobby is charged with beating Swayne's three-year-old with a hairbrush.

It's something his parents can't believe.

"I don't like to see a big man like that --- he's a big teddy bear, he tries to be tough but he's a big teddy bear - falling apart like he's doing," says Jones' step-mother Mamie Jones.

"I've never had no problems out of him and I've never known him to be physically abusive against anybody," continues Bobby Jones Jr.

Jones and his wife say Swayne's children immediately became attached to them.

They say Swayne is devastated but tough and always seemed to put her children first.

"She won't eat, she won't sleep, her nerves are shot - she wants what's best for her children," Mamie Jones said.

Children officials say Swayne may never see again.

Swayne is in jail under on $150,000 bond, and is set to appear in court October 10th.  Her two other children are in state custody.

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