07/05/2017

Juvenile Battery Update

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Sheriff Lance Bonds states that on June 30, 2017, deputies with the Stone County Sheriff's Department responded to Dump Mountain Road in Stone County, in reference to an abuse call. The complainant stated that a "youth camp" was being conducted at the Bethel Church Camp.

It is alleged that a youth counselor, Coty Shawn Penter from Trumann, Arkansas was in charge of several juveniles between the ages of 9 and 17, when he took it upon himself to discipline the juveniles, with a switch. Penter had left the camp prior to deputies being contacted.

According to the parents of the juveniles and the juveniles themselves, after being struck with the switch, marks and bruising were left on the juvenile's bodies. These injuries were documented by investigators.

According to the juveniles, Penter would tell them to do something, and if they weren't moving or doing it fast enough, Penter would strike them with a switch. At one point, Penter held one of the juveniles down and struck him with a switch numerous times.

On July 5, 2017, a Stone County District Court Warrant was issued for the arrest of Coty Penter. Penter is currently charged with nine (9) counts of Third Degree Battery on juveniles.  

His bond has been set at $3,915.00. He is scheduled for a July 26, 2017 Court date in Stone County District Court.

Sheriff Bonds wants the thank the Trumann Police Department for their assistance in locating Penter and assisting in this investigation.

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