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story.lead_photo.caption Nathan Samuel Obrien - Submitted photo

HOT SPRINGS -- A Hot Springs man on probation was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to a felony battery charge for beating his 11-year-old son with the buckle end of a belt earlier this year.

Nathan Samuel Obrien, 42, who has remained in custody since his arrest April 14, pleaded guilty in Garland County Circuit Court to second-degree domestic battery and was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $190 in court costs, while a misdemeanor count of third-degree assault on a family or household member was withdrawn.

According to the probable cause affidavit, on April 14, around 11:15 a.m., Hot Springs police officers Cash Murray and Richard Davis responded to Obrien's residence on Fred Place, regarding a battery and spoke to the victim's grandmother, 72, and the victim.

The grandmother, who has custody of the victim, said Obrien had become "extremely angry" with his son and struck him multiple times with the buckle end of a belt. She said she saw him hit the victim twice while chasing him through the house.

The victim told police he was struck four to five times total. The officers noted the victim had large swollen welts below and "well above" the waistline, with the clear imprint of the buckle on his back, consistent with being hit by a belt.

The grandmother said she told Obrien to stop hitting the victim and Obrien threw the belt at her, striking a wall and damaging it. Then he picked up the belt and threw it against a framed painting, knocking the glass out of it.

She told officers she did not want to press charges for the property damages but did want to press charges for the injuries to the victim, so Obrien was arrested. He was initially held on $7,500 bond and pleaded innocent to the charge in circuit court on July 2.

Obrien had previously pleaded guilty Feb. 23, 2018, in circuit court to a felony count of second-degree forgery involving a fraudulent check he cashed, and was sentenced to three years' probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $170 in court costs. His arrest on the battery charge was in violation of his probation.

Obrien was also previously convicted in 2008 in Montgomery County for felony theft of property and in 2011 in Saline County for criminal attempt to manufacture methamphetamine.

Metro on 11/14/2019

Print Headline: Arkansas man gets sentence of 8 years for beating son, 11, with buckle end of belt

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