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5-year-old boy went into cardiac arrest multiple times, Kentucky couple charged with child abuse

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WLKY News Louisville

A Kentucky couple were charged with child abuse for allegedly physically battering and mistreating a 5-year-old boy.

A young boy from Hardin County was rushed to Baptist Health Hardin in Elizabethtown on Sunday. The medical staff said the boy did not have a pulse when he arrived at the hospital.

The 5-year-old with life-threatening injuries was then airlifted to Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville for medical treatment. The boy went into cardiac arrest several times, according to a police report. He was in critical condition.

Around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, the Hardin County Department for Community Based Services contacted local police about the hospitalized boy. The organization informed police that the boy had suffered "suspicious injuries." A doctor told the police that he was "highly concerned" that boy could be a victim of child abuse.

The 5-year-old boy had bruises all over his body, including multiple injuries consistent with child abuse. The child was also malnourished, only weighing 32 pounds, according to police.

Dr. Melissa Currie, Norton Children’s Pediatric Protection Specialist Medical Director, told WAVE, "Anytime you have extensive bruising, bruising to multiple areas of the body, on multiple planes of the body, that is very concerning."

The boy's father, Clovis Smith, said he found the boy unconscious around 2 p.m. on Sunday with vomit on him. Smith believed the boy had drunk some rubbing alcohol. Instead of contacting 911, Smith allegedly called his girlfriend Satrina Layne. Smith didn't take his son to the hospital until Layne returned to their Rineyville home from her restaurant job that is 21 miles away.

WRDB reported, "Layne told officers that on the way to the hospital, Smith gave her 'the look.' When questioned about what 'the look' meant, she said she understood it to mean, 'Oh, [EXPLETIVE], I killed him.'"

The 25-year-old father reportedly confessed to police that he would trap his son inside a bedroom by moving the entertainment center in front of the door.

Smith admitted to spanking the child and grabbing the boy's arms "too hard" at times, according to police.

Layne allegedly told police that she grabbed the child by the arm and dragged him through a room. The boy's foot got caught in a sheet, causing him to fall and hurt his elbow.

Police said Layne confessed to hitting the boy with a spatula, her hands, and a flip-flop. She claimed that on one occasion, the boy hurt his eye when he "threw himself on the ground" while going to the bathroom.

The 23-year-old woman reportedly told police Smith had gone "too far" in disciplining the child by punching the boy.

Both Layne and Smith were arrested and charged with first-degree criminal abuse of a victim under the age of 12. The couple are being held in the Hardin County Detention Center.

The Kentucky State Police are handling the investigation.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Scotty Sharp said of the child abuse case, "They are always extremely tough cases to work for investigators because having a big heart we can’t stand to see a child suffer."

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