NICOLE NORRIS/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD
A Butler County couple has been arrested and accused of beating and torturing two family members. The family members were brother and sister.
Last Monday night, deputies were called to a home in the Greenmore community in reference to a medical emergency. When officers arrived, they found two children severely beaten, Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden said.
The victims were rushed to L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital and then transported to Children’s of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham for treatment of their injuries. Sheriff Harden said they were in critical condition.
Harden couldn’t release additional information due to the nature of the case and the ongoing investigation. He indicated the abuse occurred at the couple’s home over the weekend, but there was a delay in notifying first responders.
“It actually happened Sunday night and they did not call for medical assistance until Monday night. So it was the next day before they even called for an ambulance to come to them,” Sheriff Harden said.
“It’s one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen,” Harden added. “A child or elderly people can’t defend themselves and any time you abuse a child or an elderly person that hurts everybody. We’re very concerned and taking it very seriously. They’re going to be prosecuted to the max. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that these two never hurt another child or a person.”
Jonathan Paul Smith, 33, and his wife, Michelle Smith, 30, were charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse (family), two counts of sexual torture, two counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12, two counts of attempted murder and two counts of first-degree domestic violence assault.
Jonathan Paul Smith was also charged with possession of a controlled substance and Michelle Smith was additionally charged with assault on a law enforcement officer (assault 2nd degree).
The couple’s bond is set at $3 million. They remain in the Butler County Jail.
Brandon Sellers has been appointed the Guardian ad Litem and is in the process of setting up an account for donations for the children and the appointed caregiver.
According to his Facebook site, many Christmas presents have already been donated but monetary donations are most needed for the hospital care and expenses the caregiver will undertake. Those can be made at his office of The Sellers Law Firm in Greenville. They can take cash, checks, and credit cards or will gladly accept gift cards for gas and food. You may call 334-382-6907 with any questions.