• Neighbors in disbelief after father accused of child abuse

    By: Catherine Bilkey


    IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. - Doctors are hopeful a 2-month-old will recover after allegedly being abused by his father. The man’s neighbors don’t believe the accusations.
    “He adores that baby,” Leon Allison said. “He's crazy over that baby -- him and Victoria both. They're sweet people.”
    Allison lives next door to 26-year-old Michael Honaker, the man accused of abusing his son by shaking him. Allison also told Channel 9 he's the baby's godfather.
    “This is not Mike,” Allison said. “He's a great kid.”
    Allison is not the only neighbor supporting Honaker.
    When Jerry Keller heard about the accusations he said, “It (is not) true.”
    Keller doesn't believe Honaker is capable of child abuse either, but investigators said otherwise. They told Channel 9 that last week they were notified the 2-month-old baby boy was in respiratory distress and had bleeding around the brain.
    The infant was flown by helicopter to a Charlotte hospital, and doctors discovered there that the child had blood collection around the brain and extensive bleeding in the eyes.
    Investigators said both symptoms point to abuse by shaking and they charged Honaker.
    “I can’t see Michael hurting that child in any way at all,” Allison said.
    It's unclear what long-term medical problems the child will have.
    “I’ve been praying for the baby's health -- that he'll get well and get better soon,” Allison said.
    Honaker is still in jail. He's facing two felony assault charges and one charge of infant child abuse causing serious bodily injury.

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