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Baby Addilyn case: Father charged in daughter's beating goes to trial

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Posted at 1:24 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 14:24:35-04

FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The father accused of nearly beating his own infant daughter to death goes to trial Friday. Jury selection began in Lincoln County, where the trial was moved because of the high-profile nature.

Many followed the case of Baby Addilyn, who defied the odds and survived. Both of her biological parents, Michael Fisher and Brooklyn Tidwell, were charged in the case.

Fisher was charged with aggravated child abuse and attempted first-degree murder. Tidwell was charged with aggravated child neglect.

For a conviction, prosecutors need to prove he was trying to kill his daughter, and police say he very nearly did.

Addilyn was only two-and-a-half months old when she was rushed to the hospital after suffering a beating in Lawrence County. She had fractured bones, bleeding on the brain and doctors did not think Addilyn would last the night.

But she survived.

"Both of them have to pay for their actions and what they did," said Terra Woodard, Addilyn's adoptive mother. She will testify at trial.

Woodard says her daughter has defied the odds. Addilyn is now with a loving family, but they can't help but wonder what might have been.

"You ask yourself every day what she would have been like if this hadn't happened. She would be playing with the rest of the kids," she said.

The abuse left Addilyn blind, but that's not slowing her down. For instance, she loves auto racing and recently shared the driver's seat in her father's car.

She goes wherever the family goes – this despite injuries that resulted in brain damage.

Addilyn is unable to talk, but she's slowly but surely making progress. She will turn three in November, an age many thought she'd never see.

NewsChannel 5 will be following the trial and will have updates. It's expected to last through next week.

Related story: Parents to stand trial in child abuse case as prosecutors seek justice for baby Addilyn