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Floral man charged with first-degree battery against child

A Floral man is facing a charge of first-degree battery against a child less the 12 years of age, a Class A felony.

Jarrett W. Cousins, of Camp Tahkodah Road, turned himself into the Independence County Sheriff’s Office and told them that he had accused his 6-year-old step-daughter of misbehaving on the school bus, according to Independence County Circuit Court documents.  

The girl, the court info notes, apparently did not know what Cousins was talking about and that’s when Cousins lost his temper.  He told officers he remembered grabbing the child by her hair and holding her in the air and dropping her numerous times.  Cousins said he had been drinking and all he wanted was for the child to admit the wrongdoing, and for the child to tell her mother what she had done.

Detectives met the child and her mother at the hospital.  Detective Zach Rawlins said the child’s body displayed numerous visible injuries to the face, neck, back, elbows, and knees.  The mother told authorities when she stepped in to try to stop Cousins and take the child to keep him from throwing her on the floor, he struck her in the abdomen, causing her to “lose her breath,” court documents report.

A doctor’s report said the child suffered a break to her collarbone, abrasions, and lacerations from the beating.

Cousins was taken into custody, placed in the Independence County Jail, and Judge Chaney Taylor put him on a $15,000 cash bond.

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