Father pleads guilty to shaking infant

A Wincheste father pleaded guilty to assault and criminal abuse charges after he shook an infant so violently it had broken ribs.

Verlin Smith III, 23, of 11 Memorial Park, was arrested in May 2017 after the child’s injuries were determined at the hospital.

According to the plea agreement, Smith pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and first-degree criminal abuse with sentences of 10 and five years, respectively. The sentences will run concurrently for a total of 10 years.

In Clark Circuit Court Thursday, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Heidi Engel said the child has broken ribs and was in respiratory distress after being shaken violently. There was also evidence of a previous liver laceration, she said.

Smith said he was home alone with the child, which was 2 months old at the time.

“I don’t really have any recollection,” he said. “My son was unresponsive.”

Smith admitted he was home alone with the child when the injuries occurred.

Police said Smith called the child’s mother on April 21, 2017, and said the child wasn’t breathing. He then called 911 and an ambulance transported the child to Clark Regional Medical Center before going on to the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Smith remains in the Clark County Detention Center. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 14.