Neighbors respond to arrest of Hardin Co. couple accused of physically abusing 5-year-old boy

Neighbors respond to arrest of Hardin Co. couple accused of physically abusing 5-year-old boy
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 10:06 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Neighbors shared more about a Hardin County couple facing abuse charges after a 5-year-old boy was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Kentucky State Police said they were contacted on Sunday around 4:30 p.m. regarding a boy brought into Baptist Health Hardin with “suspicious injuries.”

The child was airlifted to Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville with life-threatening injuries. An arrest slip said the boy went into cardiac arrest several times.

Police arrested the boy’s father and his girlfriend, both of Rineyville. Clovis Smith, 25, and Satrina Layne, 23, were charged with criminal abuse of a victim under 12.

Both are currently being held in the Hardin County Detention Center.

When investigators arrived at the hospital, they discovered that the 5-year-old was severely malnourished and only weighed 32 pounds. He also had several injuries consistent with child abuse; including bruising to his forehead, ear, and arm.

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

“I was coming back from Elizabethtown,” a neighbor of the couple said. “As I strolled down the street, I realized the street was packed full of state troopers down two ways. And then I was like wow, I wonder what is going on there. My kids ride their bikes up that way all the time.”

Court documents said the couple admitted to abusing the 5-year-old in an interview.

Clovis admitted to police that he would trap the child inside a bedroom by moving the “entertainment center” in front of the doorway. Before the child was brought to Baptist Health Hardin, Clovis said he found the boy unconscious with vomit on him. Physicians said the boy did not have a pulse when he arrived at the hospital.

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

Clovis admitted to hurting the child and said he suspected the boy may have drunk rubbing alcohol he left out. Police said when the interviewed Smith, he told them he called the child’s mother. He did not call 911.

“That came as a shock,” a neighbor said, referring to Clovis. “Because, like I said, he worked at the gas station. He seemed like a pretty peaceful guy.”

The arrest slip said Layne admitted to hitting the boy with her hands, a spatula and flip-flop. At one point, she said saw Clovis punching the boy.

Norton Children’s said Kentucky has historically been ranked with one of the highest child fatality rates. Kentucky ranked fifth nationally for the most child victims this year, based on 2022 data.