A rural Joplin man accused of hitting his 2-year-old son in the mouth and providing all three of his children with padded swords to hit each other waived a preliminary hearing Thursday and was ordered to stand trial on two felony counts.
Daniel R. Smith, 29, waived the hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court on charges of child abuse and child endangerment. Associate Judge Joe Hensley set the defendant’s initial appearance in a trial court for Dec. 18.
Smith was arrested May 28 after an investigation by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department of allegations that he abused his 2-year-old boy on May 23.
A probable-cause affidavit states that he struck his son in the mouth when the boy bit another child present in their home. He later admitted that he may have hit him harder than he intended because the boy’s mouth immediately began bleeding and eventually became swollen. He also admitted that he had forced the boy to swallow Tabasco sauce in the past as a form of punishment for biting others, according to the affidavit.
The investigation also found that, later the same day, Smith gave the boy and his two siblings, ages 4 and 6, padded swords with which they might take their frustrations out on each other.