Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, persuaded the Senate Judiciary Committee today to introduce legislation prompted by the case of a 3-year-old St. Maries child whose severe abuse cost her both feet, a finger and a kidney, but whose abuser got just 10 years in prison, the maximum sentence for felony injury to a child. “This is a little change that could be very big,” Broadsword told the committee, of her measure to double the maximum penalty from 10 years in prison to 20. The Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association is supporting the bill, she said, and the Benewah County prosecutor who handled the case involving little Kyra Wine will testify when the bill has its full hearing.
Broadsword said, “In this case, 20 years is not too many for what he did.” She said the local prosecutor told her he couldn’t charge Charles W. Smith with anything but felony injury to a child because he never admitted what he’d done to cause the child’s injuries. “He never said a word,” Broadsword said. Authorities were puzzled by the extent of the youngster’s injuries, which included a patch of dead flesh on her scalp that will never grow hair again. She was found almost comatose in a bedroom, malnourished and dehydrated, her body covered in scabs. Smith was her mother’s boyfriend who babysat her and her 5-year-old sister. The child’s mother, Christina Haynes, also was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison for the abuse.