News and Tribune

July 3, 2013

New Albany man arrested after infant daughter hospitalized

NAPD issues preliminary battery, neglect charges

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — A New Albany man is facing preliminary felony charges after his 7-month-old daughter was admitted into Louisville Kosair Children’s Hospital with a closed-head injury Monday.

The child is now in stable condition at the hospital, according to the New Albany Police Department.

Police arrested the child’s father, Benjamin P. Smith, 33, of 1103 West St., Tuesday evening.

Smith was preliminarily charged with battery and neglect of a dependent, both class B felonies.

The child was taken to the hospital, “when her mother found her in physical distress at the family home,” according to a press release provided by NAPD. “It was at Kosair that the closed-head injury was diagnosed and detectives were called to the scene to investigate.”

The investigation into the alleged battery and neglect is ongoing.

During a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Floyd County Superior Court No. 1, presiding Judge Susan Orth set Smith’s bond at $150,000 court cash.

A payment of $15,000 is required for Smith to be released from the Floyd County Jail. According to jail staff, Smith remained at the facility as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Check newsandtribune.com and print editions for updates.

According to Indiana state statue, a charge of battery can be issued to a person as a class B misdemeanor if the person “knowingly or intentionally touches another person in a rude, insolent, or angry manner ...”

The charge is elevated to a class A misdemeanor if the act results in bodily injury, or is carried out on a law enforcement officer or other government official.

A battery charge can also result in a class D or C felony if it meets certain criteria.

A class B felony battery is issued when the act “results in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years of age and is committed by a person at least 18 years of age,” according to state statute.

The charge is issued as a class A felony if the act results in the death of person under the age of 14 years old and is committed by a person at least 18 years old.