Mother pleads not guilty to whipping teen

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, May 7, 2011

An Austin woman accused of whipping her teenage son with an extension cord has pleaded not guilty to malicious punishment of a child.

Brandy Renee Smith, 31, also pleaded not guilty to one count of misdemeanor domestic assault. She entered her plea Thursday in Mower County Court.

According to a court complaint, a local school official notified officers when he found a note written by Smith’s son. The note said school is a way of escaping abuse at home. When police spoke with the teen, he said he had been drinking a soda in his bedroom, which is contrary to Smith’s house rules. When Smith walked in, she apparently became angry about the soda and tried to slap the boy, according to the complaint.

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The teen told officers he tried to cover his face with his hands, at which point Smith noticed a tattoo he got on his wrist. She allegedly became more angry and whipped him several times with an extension cord.

When law enforcement officials interviewed Smith, she said she hit her son five or six times with a belt as punishment for the tattoo. According to court documents, Smith seemed “upbeat” about the incident and thought it was “normal” to punish a child that way.

The boy was placed in temporary foster care by Mower County Human Services, a court complaint states.

Smith’s jury trial is scheduled to begin August 15.