UPDATE | Arrest warrant exposes more accusations in child cruelty case

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email
An arrest warrant sheds light into the night a Hephzibah mother was accused of child cruelty against her 2-year-old son.

Katherine Smith (WRDW-TV)

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Monday, Aug. 4, 2014

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW) -- An arrest warrant sheds light into the night a Hephzibah mother was accused of child cruelty against her 2-year-old son.

Katherine Smith told police she put her son Mason in his room to discipline him on Wednesday. When she left the room, she heard a loud thud and Smith said she found him on the floor. Smith said Mason had a condition which causes him to hold his breath until he passes out.

After 2 days in the hospital, Mason died from his injuries.

An arrest warrant said Smith picked up her 2-year-old son and began to shake him to revive him from the affects of Breath Holding Syndrome (BHS). She then slapped the little boy to try and get him to wake up, the warrant said.

She left Mason laying on the bed for three hours before she took him to the hospital, the warrant said. Smith is a licensed nurse and the warrant said "based on her medical training and experience [she] should have gotten (Mason) medical attention immediately."

The boy had hemorrhaging behind his eyes, almost no brain activity, bleeding in his brain and had healing rib fractures, the warrant said. An autopsy is being done to determine how he died.

Smith will stay in jail on a second degree child cruelty charge after her court hearing was rescheduled on Monday.

Original report

Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW) - Two-year-old Mason Smith died Saturday at 5:55 p.m, the Richmond County Coroner's Office said.

Smith's mother was arrested Friday after her 2-year-old son was taken to the hospital.

Richmond County Sheriff's Office responded to GRU Children's Hospital in reference to child abuse on Thursday.

Katherine Smith, 39, told officers she put her son in the corner of his room to discipline him. She says when she was not in the room she heard a thud and returned to find him on the floor.

Smith told officers her son has a syndrome which causes him to hold his breath until he passes out.

Gold Cross took the child to the hospital after the accident on Wednesday.

Smith is facing a cruelty to children in the second degree charge. The incident is under investigation.

The cause of death is unknown. An autopsy will be done in Atlanta.


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