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Jury Acquits Father Who Hit Son

A man who said he slapped his teenage son in the face because of the boy’s rebellious lifestyle was found innocent of battery.

James Kelley testified Tuesday that his son Stephen, 17, had moved out to live with his girlfriend and was neglecting his health and schoolwork.

Kelley said he hit his son Oct. 8 after Stephen denied stealing his car stereo. He said he hit the boy for his own good, and would do it again.

Prosecutor Tim Joyce said the father had crossed the line from parental discipline to misdemeanor battery when the blows caused a bruise near Stephen’s left eye.

The jury disagreed, acquitting Kelley of battery Tuesday. An assault charge had been dismissed for lack of proof.


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