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Two held in NLR 'spanking in excess' case

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published February 12, 2013 at 8:09 a.m.

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— A man and woman were arrested Tuesday in North Little Rock in the purported "spanking in excess" of a young boy, authorities said.

Demetrice Burgess, 34, and Penny Johnson-Burgess, 31, are each due in court Tuesday morning on a preliminary charge of second-degree battery.

According to a North Little Rock Police Department report, authorities were called about 3:30 p.m. to the couple's apartment in the 700 block of West 18th Street in reference to a child being abused through "spanking in excess."

"Upon arrival, officers could hear a child screaming and crying from outside the residence," police wrote in the report. "Officers could also hear a slapping sound and then the child screaming and crying louder."

Police say they immediately entered the residence out of fear for the child's safety. Demetrice Burgess approached officers in the hallway and said "he was giving his child discipline," according to the report.

Police observed numerous red marks that were swollen on the boy, whose age wasn't listed in the report. It also didn't specify whether the child needed medical attention or who took custody of the boy after the arrests.

Burgess and Johnson-Burgess are scheduled to make a first appearance in North Little Rock District Court later Tuesday morning. They were each being held without bail pending that appearance, Pulaski County jail records show.

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 total comments

RBBrittain says... February 12, 2013 at 2:44 p.m.

NLRPD had better come up with a better explanation than "spanking in excess". That will almost guarantee protests all over the Bible Belt claiming they're taking away parents' rights to spank their children, and NO jury in Pulaski County would convict even if it was bad enough to be abuse.

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onlyGodmatters says... February 18, 2013 at 4:57 p.m.

No bail? That's excessive to the point of falling under cruel and unusual punishment, don't you think?

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