Couple Arrested After 10-Year-Old Injured During Apparent ‘Gut-Check’ Punch


A Delaware County husband and wife are in jail over what investigators call a violent assault on a 10-year-old boy.

35-year-old Michael Smith II and his wife Jessica Smith were both indicted and arrested on Thursday.

As 10TV first reported last week, Michael Smith is accused of punching a 10-year-old relative in the abdomen, in what investigators call a "gut check" intended to toughen the boy up.  Investigators say the assault left the boy with a broken rib and ruptured intestine.

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office says 27-year-old Jessica Smith was aware of the abuse going on inside their Galena home, but that she did not act.

Investigators say the incident happened sometime around April 17th, but the boy didn't get medical care for several days when he was finally taken to the hospital on April 25th with life threatening injuries.

"With the extent of his injuries he sustained, he would have been in pain and suffered from those injuries, and so the delay in receiving that care certainly was traumatic for him," said Detective Jason Campbell.

10TV cameras were there last week when the victim's younger sister was taken by Children Services.  The agency has temporary custody of both children, though the boy is still recovering at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Michael Smith's mother told 10TV the boy's injuries were caused by bullies at school.  Detectives tell us they investigated that claim and found no evidence to support it.

Jessica Smith's attorney says is a good mother and is not guilty of the child endangering charge against her.

Both Smiths are due in court next week.