Wednesday, February 8, 2023
HomeNewsMartinez Boy, 7, Comes to School with Bruises; Mom Jailed

Martinez Boy, 7, Comes to School with Bruises; Mom Jailed


A young mother in Martinez has been arrested for child cruelty after her 7-year-old son showed up at an elementary school in Columbia County this week with bruises.

Ashley Benton-Harold, 23, was charged Tuesday with cruelty to children – causing excessive physical or mental pain.

According to a Columbia County sheriff’s report, the boy’s teacher noticed a mark on his face once he came to class Tuesday. The child was taken to school nurse Sheila Weathersbee, who observed multiple bruises on the child.

The school notified the Department of Family and Children Services as well as the sheriff’s office. Investigators went to the boy’s home, where his mother was interviewed and arrested.

The mother told authorities that she had struck her child with a belt for misbehaving, sheriff’s Major Rick Whitaker said.


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Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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