A man accused of hitting his son with a belt until he was bleeding has been charged with domestic battery by prosecutors in Miller County.
Devonte Demetrius Ellis, 24, faces three to ten years in prison if found guilty of beating his son March 29. A fine up to $10,000 is possible also.
According to a probable cause affidavit, a neighbor called police March 29 at approximately 9:50 p.m. to report that a child was screaming and possibly being abused in the 3900 block of Eastwood Street. When officers arrived, they could allegedly hear the child’s cries and the sound of “slaps” from across the street.
When police knocked on the door, a woman allegedly asked “who is it” and when police identified themselves the screaming stopped.
The officers spoke with the boy’s mother who claimed the child was getting a spanking and that everything was fine. The woman refused to allow officers to see the boy until they warned that they could contact child welfare officials.
“As I was speaking with her she started to get emotional and didn’t want to speak with us,” the affidavit states.
Officers advised the mother they were concerned because of the child’s screams and because the screaming abruptly stopped when they arrived as if someone had placed a hand over the boy’s mouth.
Ellis could allegedly be heard yelling at the woman before he opened the door and showed them the child. Ellis allegedly claimed marks on the boy’s stomach and back were caused because the child was moving around as he was struck with a gray-colored belt.
Some of the marks on the boy included broken skin and dried blood. Ellis was arrested but has since been released on a $10,000 bond. Ellis is not allowed to have contact with his son.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Brent Haltom. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell is prosecuting. The public defender’s office has been appointed to represent Ellis.