Hearing set in Waynesboro child abuse case

FRANKLIN COUNTY — A Waynesboro man accused of assaulting his girlfriend’s 17-month-old daughter is scheduled to appear Tuesday in court.

Patrick Aaron Smith, 30, of 18 S. Franklin St., is slated for a preliminary hearing at 1 p.m. in Franklin County Central Court. Charged with simple assault and endangering the welfare of a child, he has been in Franklin County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail since his Oct. 31 arrest.

Waynesboro Police said officers were called to investigate at Waynesboro Hospital after the child was brought to the emergency room. The toddler had bruises and swelling on her forehead and bruises on various other parts of her face. She also had bruises on her torso and buttocks.

A doctor told investigators that the bruises on the child’s body were in various stages of healing.

According to an affidavit filed with Magisterial District Judge Kelly Rock, Chelsey Queen told police that she left her daughter with Smith when she went to work about 7:30 a.m. Oct. 31. She said the girl had no visible injuries on her face when she put her to bed the night before.

Smith reportedly talked to Queen while she was at work about 12:30 p.m. and told her that the child had tripped and fell on the sidewalk, causing her lip to swell and bleed. When she talked to him about an hour later, he told her “We had another accident.”

Queen told police that Smith said her daughter fell down some steps. He had described her injuries as “some little dings and stuff

but nothing serious.” She first learned that the injuries were more significant when her sister called later.

“I have personally observed many injuries to children from falls or bike accidents, and the injuries that I observed do not fit with the explanation provided,” Officer Thomas Storey wrote in the affidavit.

Chelsey’s sister, Kristi Queen, told police that she sent Smith a text message the afternoon of the incident, asking him to have Chelsey call her later. According to the affidavit, he replied with a text message that said, “Will do, babys having a bad day L.”

When she ask why, he replied that, “I was cleaning out the stroller at the bottom of the stairs and she snuck up four or five and fell down and busted her forehead and then she puked on me J.”

Kristi Queen decided to go check on the child. Smith further explained that he heard a “clunk, clunk, clunk” and saw the toddler’s head on the concrete with her legs still on the stairs. He placed a bag of frozen french fries on the child’s head and told Kristi Queen “he felt really bad because he wasn’t watching her.”

Chelsey Queen left work, getting home around 4:30 p.m. After seeing her daughter’s injuries, she decided to take her to the hospital.

Smith was arrested that evening, read his Miranda rights and interviewed at the police station. According to the affidavit, he said the child fell down “six or seven steps” while she was trying to climb down them. He also told them that he has a drug problem, and that he had taken “benzos” while watching the girl.

When the police told Smith that they didn’t believe his story about how the child was hurt, he eventually stopped speaking to them and requested an attorney. According to the affidavit, Smith told police “he had not been truthful about how the injuries occurred.”


Jim Tuttle can be reached at jtuttle@publicopinionnews.com or at 262-4754.

Article source: http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_19279851

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