Couple charged with using cattle prod on children

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

News 12 at 11, September 6, 2007

AIKEN, S.C.- An Aiken County mother and her husband are out on bond, charged with a degree of child abuse the Aiken County Sheriff's Office has never seen before.

Sheriff Michael Hunt calls it the most shocking case of child abuse he's ever seen in his career.

Two boys, ages 12 and 14, identify a handheld cattle prod as one form of abuse they suffered at the hands of their mother, Dana Smith, and her husband Kip Smith.

The 14-year-old says he and his brother were tortured repeatedly by both; often held down by Kip and then shocked over and over by Dana.

The cattle prod puts out 4, 500 volts, compare that to the electrical outlet in your home, which puts out only 120 volts.

The Sheriff's Office says the cattle prod came from an Aiken Tractor Supply store off of Whiskey Road. Employees there often saw Dana Smith come in with her children, and say she even joked about using the cattle prod as punishment.

Assistant Manager Bradley Beckham says he still can't believe it's true. "It's enough of a punch that it would move a three thousand pound animal. It would hurt a child severely."

The Sheriff's Office says the abuse allegedly happened at the family's former New Bridge Road home.

Neighbors, like Laura Nord, say they knew something was wrong. "My husband and I called the Sheriff several times because we heard gunfire really late at night or early morning, like 3 am. There was constantly screaming over there."

News 12 spoke with several family members off camera, including Dana Smith's sister Patricia by phone. She says Dana had abused the children since the 14-year-old was born, but had only recently switched to the cattle prod because it didn't leave a mark.

There are a total of three children involved. Dana Smith also has a 9-year-old son, but the Sheriff's Office says they don't believe the cattle prod was used on him. All three boys are safe, staying with relatives.

Dana Smith and Kip Smith are free on bond. Both are charged with two counts of unlawful neglect by a legal custodian. Kip Smith faces an additional charge of cruelty to children for allegedly beating the 14-year-old with a cane in March.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Garrett Backherms Location: Aiken SC on Dec 3, 2009 at 04:43 PM
    this man "kip smith" is my mothers ex boyfriend. they datede for awhile and he was always having a temper and clenching his fist. its completely insane what he has done to these kids. i am 16 years old, will be 17 in a month, and when i found this on the internet i told my mother and they ended their relationship. their is no way you can turst a man that pulls a stupid and ignorant thing on a kid like that. he needs to be put on death sentence or at least be in jail for the rest of his life!
  • by jonathan smith Location: anderson on May 22, 2009 at 12:20 PM
    i am the son of them none of that ever happened!
  • by jonathan smith Location: a group home in anderson on Feb 9, 2009 at 06:57 AM
    have anybody done anything about these chirlden getting a home someone needs to step up
  • by jonathan smith on Feb 6, 2009 at 06:58 AM
    my parents has change and every thing is goging alot better
  • by know the whole story Location: nc on Sep 21, 2007 at 05:39 AM
    Cattle prod couple needs to get 421 years in prison like the man did in Beaufort, sc for kidnapping a girl. The children need a home, not with family, their grandmother don't want them and surely the Great-Grandmother don't need him, she has a very ill husband at home. They the Great grandparent are in their 70's.
  • by mrs Concerned Location: Aiken on Sep 17, 2007 at 05:15 PM
    I personally know the 12 yrs he goes to school with my son asn has been to my home. These parents if you could call them that were nothing but trailer trash. They scarred these boys for life my the ROT IN HADES!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Anony Location: Mo on Sep 9, 2007 at 02:56 AM
    Have they ever tried the cattle prod on themselves? Sad, that they hurt their children so much they had to find another form of punishment so it woul dnot leave marks! It's because of people like this we can't even tap our children on the hand to disipline them!
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 9631937 -
Gray Television, Inc.