Baby seriously injured, father in jail for child endangerment

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The pictures of Thomas Howell, or Tom-Tom as he’s called, show a smiling, bright-eyed five-month old.

But tonight Tom-Tom is on a ventilator, heavily sedated, and there’s no real answer on what happens next.

baby 2His mother, Brenda Comeaux, has been spending every day and night with the child since Saturday.

“It looks like he has been having mini-strokes all over his brain,” she says. “If he recovers from this he’s not going to be the same baby that he was. He’s not going to be laughing, he’s not going to be smiling. If he does those things it’s going to be a miracle.”

The father, James Howell, is in jail for felony child endangering.

Comeaux said Howell was at their apartment alone with the baby Saturday afternoon and Thomas was crying.

“I got a call from James around 1:00 saying how he was getting frustrated,” she says. “I asked him, I said, ‘have you done anything?’ and I started going through the list on what we’re supposed to do with Thomas.”

Three hours later there was another call.

“Screaming, crying, shouting, I could tell in his voice he was shaking and he was like “I fell with Thomas, I fell with Thomas.”

But she told her mother that James threw Thomas. She now says she was just very upset.

According to court records, it was reported to hospital staff that Howell was carrying Thomas when he tripped and fell, causing Thomas to strike a pillow or possibly bounce off the floor.

According to court records, attending child abuse pediatrician Dr, Jennifer Tscholl told police that the story of Howell falling with Thomas in his arms is not a plausible explanation for the injuries suffered by Thomas and is not consistent with the injuries.

Howell is expected to appear in court Wednesday morning. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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