Woman found guilty of child abuse

By Staff
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
A Franklin County jury found a Russellville woman guilty of child abuse yesterday.
Bonita Wrangle was found guilty of striking her 13-year-old son in the head with a wall ornament of some type during an altercation with her last May.
"We don't know exactly what was used to strike the child, but we know his injuries were significant," Franklin County Assistant District Attorney, Doug Evans said.
The child suffered a concussion and needed 11 staples in his head to close the wound, according to the medical report.
Defense attorney John Benn tried to paint the picture of a troubled child who was undisciplined, and out of control during yesterday's trial. Benn also contended that the child caused the injuries himself by falling into a shelf after his mother threw a shoe at him during their altercation.
However, the state contended that he could not have caused the injuries, and that regardless of the child's behavior, a parent has no right to cause such injuries.
During jury deliberations, the jury reached an impasse, and notified the judge that they were deadlocked.
At that time, the jury returned to the courtroom and Circuit Judge Terry Dempsey issued them a dynamite charge, which is given in such cases.
"I am sorry to hear you are unable to reach a verdict but I cannot dismiss you at this time," Dempsey told the jury during the dynamite charge.
Dempsey continued by telling the jury that they should work together to come to a verdict if possible.
"My sole purpose is to impress upon you your duty (as jurors)," Dempsey concluded with the charge.
The jurors went back into deliberations and finally, more than two hours after the trial concluded, the jury came back with a guilty verdict.
"We know that the jury agonized over the case, and we thank them for their service," Evans said.
Evans said that he believed the injuries and questionable testimony from the defendant contributed to the guilty verdict.
Judge Dempsey allowed Wrangle to remain free on her bond pending sentencing.
Child abuse is a Class C felony, which is punishable with one year and one day to 10 years in prison.

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