Mother charged with child cruelty after 2-year-old dies

Mother charged with child cruelty after 2-year-old dies

HEPHZIBAH, GA (WFXG) - A mother is in jail after her two-year-old son was pronounced dead at the Children's Hospital of Georgia.

Deputies said Katherine Smith is facing child cruelty charges, in addition to other pending charges, Sgt. Shane McDaniel told WFXG.

Deputies were called to the hospital early Friday morning. The mother told police she sent him to the corner for disciplinary reasons. She heard a noise and when she returned to the room, she found him on the floor. She told deputies that he has a syndrome that causes him to hold his breath until he loses consciousness.

It's known as the terrible two's, when toddlers will throw fits and tantrums to get their way.

Jonathan Ringer's daughter Bella will turn two in October, and he said he always has a close eye on her to make sure she stays safe.

"Especially at this age, one and a half, two years old...I don't like her to be in any room alone, by herself without any supervision," Ringer said.

He said while this is a tragic incident, it's also a teaching lesson for parents everywhere when it comes to child discipline.

"It is a shame that a child died. It's tragic, I'm sorry for her, you know, condolences go out to the family, but you always have to be there to watch," he said.

Coroner Mark Bowen said an autopsy is scheduled early this week at the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta.

We'll have more information as it becomes available.

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