WKYT - Harlan - Headlines

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - A Harlan County grand jury will hear the case against a couple accused of putting a three-year-old child in a deep freezer.

Randy Hammons, 24, and Connie Jenkins, 55, appeared in court Monday for a preliminary hearing.

The judge did not allow cameras inside.

During the hearing, Sheriff's Deputy Matt Cope told the Judge an anonymous tip led him to a home in Hiram. He says he found the three-year-old covered in severe bruises.

"On speaking with the child, he did state to me Randy caused the injuries on his body. He said Randy was mean to him," said Deputy Cope.

He says Randy Hammons is the child's grandmother's live-in boyfriend. The grandmother, Connie Jenkins, has custody of the child. He says five other children were also in the home.

Deputy Cope says another child in the home told him Hammons put the three year old in the deep freezer and closed the lid.

"I just could not imagine anyone would place a three year old child in a functioning plugged in deep freeze. It's mind blowing," said Deputy Cope.

Cope charged Hammons with criminal abuse and attempted murder.

"A great risk of death in his actions," said Deputy Cope.

Deputy Cope said he charged Connie Jenkins with criminal abuse for allegedly letting it happen.

In the preliminary hearing, Connie Jenkins agreed to cooperate in the Social Services investigation in exchange for a reduced bond. She is also not allowed to have contact with the six children from her home. Jenkins' bond is now ten percent of $10,000. The online jail records show she is out of jail now.

The judge increased Hammons' bond to $70,000 full cash due to the allegations.

The defense attorney declined to comment after court, but during court the defense attorney argued it did not sound like Hammons intentionally tried to kill the child and should not face an attempted murder charge.

The judge sent the case to the grand jury.

Deputy Cope says all of the six children in the home are in Social Services custody. He says they are interviewing them again on Tuesday for the case.

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