WKYT - Harlan - Headlines

Child beaten and locked in freezer

HARLAN, Ky. (WKYT) - On Tuesday, The Kentucky Department for Community Based Services responded to a complaint of child abuse in the Hiram Community of Harlan County. The sheriff said the child told police that Randy Hammons beat him.

"There was severe bruising and knots on the child's body in several places," said the Sheriff, Marvin Lipfird.

Police say 24 year old Hammons then put the child in a small freezer because he would not stop crying, held the lid closed, and ignored the child's screams for help.

"He could have very easily suffocated that child or before that he could have beat the child to death. You're dealing with a fragile body. To me it's an extremely severe case," Sheriff Lipfird said.

Police say 54 year old Connie Jenkins, the boy's grandmother, told police that Hammons beat the child and trapped him in the freezer. She also told police that she did nothing to stop it. Police also say when they found the child at the home, the child had makeup on his bruises to "conceal the bruising."

Family members say that the little boy has been acting differently ever since the abuse started.

"Used to be a happy baby. Now he walks around here like he's a zombie half the time because he's scared to death to even move," said the victim's Aunt, Portia Bearden.

More charges could be brought against Hammons and Jenkins throughout the police investigation. Police say the victim has two brothers and three sisters, who are now living in a safe location. Interviews with family, friends, and the siblings will happen during the investigation.

Both Randy Hammond and Connie Jenkins declined WYMT's request for an interview.

Hammon has been charged with Attempted Murder and Criminal Abuse in the First Degree. Jenkins has been charged with Criminal Abuse in the First Degree.

Sheriff Marvin Lipfird says evidence will be presented to a grand jury this week.

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