Benton, KY


Grand jury indicts father for child abuse

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - Updated: 1:09 PM

By Rachel Keller




  A Marshall County   grand jury last week returned a True Bill against Johnny Arnold, III, 20, of Benton, charging him with one count of Assault, 1st degree, a Class B felony punishable by 10-20 years in a state penitentiary. Arnold was initially arrested Oct. 13 after allegedly admitting to Kentucky State Police detectives that he shook his 6-week-old son, which allegedly caused the child’s serious and life-threatening injuries.

  KSP Detective Brian Hill reported in the citation that Arnold took the infant to Lourdes Hospital in Paducah on Oct. 13 when the child began bleeding from the mouth, which Arnold allegedly reported began around 9:30 that morning. He said the hospital staff contacted the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which in turn contacted KSP. 

  Hill testified during the preliminary hearing Oct. 26 that when he initiated contact with Arnold, Arnold allegedly denied having any information regarding how the child was injured. He said they took several breaks during the interviews for updates from medical professionals regarding the child’s status. The first reports from doctors revealed the child’s leg was fractured in two places and there was a cut in the roof of the mouth but later, more troubling injuries were located.

  “We found out there was a brain bleed on both sides of the baby’s head. At that point I told Mr. Arnold that a helicopter was 18 minutes out to take the baby to Kosair’s in Louisville for treatment of the brain bleed,” Hill said. “At that point he did admit that when he got very frustrated with the baby, he grabbed the baby by the calf and pulled him out of the Pack ‘N Play, which is what he sleeps in in the nursery, and gave the child off to the mother who apparently didn’t witness this, she was off in the kitchen. The mother had to leave shortly after for school so he was left alone with the baby. The baby was still fussing and Mr. Arnold said he took the baby and did shake him and I handed him my notebook so he could demonstrate shaking the child. He demonstrated shaking the child and how the head was bouncing back and forth.”

  Hill said the following day he learned from medical staff at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Lousiville that the injuries discovered included “five total leg fractures, two fractured ribs, a possible fracture in one of the arms, additional bleeds and issues with the head subsequent to the initial injuries.” He said the age of the infant is an important factor in this case because it’s obvious the injuries could not be self-inflicted and when the infant arrived at KCH it was considered in a life-threatening condition.

  Arnold is scheduled for arraignment in Marshall Circuit Court Jan. 24 at 1 p.m.

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