T.P.I. -- CRIM. 21.01


Any person who commits the offense of [aggravated child abuse] [aggravated child neglect] is guilty of a crime.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this offense, the state must have proven beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the following essential elements:1

(1) that the defendant did knowingly other than by accidental means:

(a) treat a child in such a manner as to inflict injury;


(b) neglect a child so as to adversely affect the child's health and



(2)(a) the defendant used a deadly weapon to accomplish the act of



(b) the act of [abuse] [neglect] resulted in serious bodily injury to the child;


[(3) that the child was six (6) years of age or less.]

"Child" means a person under eighteen (18) years of age.2

"Knowingly" means that a person acts knowingly with respect to the conduct or to circumstances surrounding the conduct when the person is aware of the nature of the conduct or that the circumstances exist. A person acts knowingly with respect to the result of the person's conduct when the person is aware that the conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result.3

The requirement of "knowingly" is also established if it is shown that the defendant acted intentionally.4

"Intentionally" means that a person acts intentionally with respect to the nature of the conduct or to a result of the conduct when it is the person's conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result.5

["Deadly weapon" means a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury; or anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.]6

["Injury" includes a cut, abrasion, bruise, burn, or disfigurement; physical pain or temporary illness or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.]7

["Serious bodily injury" means bodily injury which involves a substantial risk of death; protracted unconsciousness; extreme physical pain; protracted or obvious disfigurement; or protracted loss or substantial impairment of a function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty.]8

[It is an exception to this offense that the child was being provided treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in accordance with the tenets or practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof in lieu of medical or surgical treatment. If the defendant proves this exception by a preponderance of the evidence,9 you must find [him] [her] not guilty.]10


1. Tenn. Code Ann. 39-15-402(a).

2. Tenn. Code Ann. 39-15-401(a).

3. Tenn. Code Ann. 39-11-106(a)(20).

4. Tenn. Code Ann. 39-11-301(a)(2).

5. Tenn. Code Ann. 39-11-106(a)(18).

6. Tenn. Code Ann. 39-11-106(a)(5).

7. Tenn. Code Ann. 39-11-106(a)(2). This is the definition of "bodily injury".

8. Tenn. Code Ann. 39-11-106(a)(34).

9. Tenn. Code Ann. 39-11-202(b)(2). The trial judge should utilize T.P.I. --

CRIM. 42.01 (Preponderance of the Evidence).

10. Tenn. Code Ann. 39-15-402(c). This exception was added by an

amendment effective July 1, 1994.


1. Aggravated child abuse and neglect is a Class B felony. Tenn. Code Ann. 39-15-402(b). Aggravated child abuse and neglect of a child six (6) years of age or less is a Class A felony. This amendment to Tenn. Code Ann. 39-15-402(b) became effective July 1, 1994. This enhanced punishment for aggravated child abuse and neglect of a child age six (6) or less would apply only to those crimes committed on or after July 1, 1994.

2. The Committee is of the opinion that the language of Tenn. Code Ann. 39-15-402(c) are words "of similar import" as the term is used in Tenn. Code Ann. 39-11-202 (Exceptions).

3. Aggravated child abuse and neglect is separated into Aggravated child abuse or aggravated child neglect by Tenn. Code Ann. 39-15-402(a) (as amended by Public Acts of 1998, Chapter 1040, effective April 29, 1998).