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Cantrell charged with aggravated child abuse
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A local man faces up to 12 years in prison for allegedly whipping his girlfriend’s 1-year-old child after she pitched a tantrum.
The suspect, Cody Lynn Cantrell, 22, was bound to the grand jury by General Sessions Judge Larry Ross following preliminary hearing on the Class B Felony count of aggravated child abuse.
Cantrell was charged after the toddler’s mother reported finding bruises on the child’s legs and a burn on her thigh. Sheriff’s investigators met with the 19-month-old’s mother at the hospital. Investigator Kevin Murphy said he took pictures of the injuries, noting how and when the burn mark got on the girl’s thigh is still a mystery.
However, Murphy said he determined Cantrell had spanked the girl, likely leaving the bruise marks on her upper legs.
“When we first spoke Mr. Cantrell claimed he had never spanked the girl,” Murphy testified during Cantrell’s preliminary hearing. “He then changed his story and said he had spanked her during breakfast.”
According to Cantrell’s version of events, the spanking came when the girl refused to eat her eggs, spitting them out on the floor several times.
“He said she threw a fit for about 20 minutes,” Murphy testified noting after several defiant instances Cantrell said he grabbed the girl and spanked her.
Cantrell claims the girl’s mother was present and that he spanked the toddler because she was stressed out over her daughter’s fit and she was not feeling good. The mother maintains she was asleep at the time of the spanking and did not discover the injuries until later.