A Fort Campbell soldier will appear before a grand jury after authorities say he badly beat a Campbell County infant.
Joseph Michael Smith is charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect. Police say he became upset with his girlfriend's 22-month-old son, prompting him to beat the boy and burn him with a cigarette as punishment.
The case against Smith was bound over following a preliminary hearing Tuesday.
Authorities say the abuse happened sometime between June 12 and 17 at Smith's girlfriend's home in Caryville. 22-year-old Michelle Douglas told investigators they took the infant to Montgomery County to try to hide her son's injuries from her family.
It was there that police were alerted to his condition.
Detective Damon Chestnut with the Clarksville Police Department interviewed Smith. Chestnut said Smith took responsibility for some of the boy's injuries.
He said Smith admitted to hitting the boy as punishment for having an accident during a diaper changing. Smith claimed he didn't hit the boy hard enough to cause the injuries.
The 22-month-old was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He had a broken arm, bruising on his face, ear, arms, back, legs, and buttocks. There were cigarette burns and previous skull and rib fractures that were healing.
Smith and Douglas each face a charge of child abuse and neglect in Montgomery County for not getting the boy treatment for his injuries. Douglas is in the Montgomery County jail. Smith is being held in the Campbell county on $250,00 bail for the aggravated child abuse and neglect charge.
The state has taken custody of the toddler. A spokesperson from the Department of Children Services said he is now living with a foster family.