Two Stone County residents have been charged after a father noticed severe bruising on his 4-year-old son. Stone County Sheriff Lance Bonds noted in a Dec. 12 press release that deputies met with a complainant who said he noticed the bruising on his son after he had picked up the child from his mother’s Main Street residence around 4 p.m. on Oct. 14, 2017. The child told the father, “Aaron hit me.” The complainant’s ex-wife’s boyfriend is named Aaron Maricle. After being told this, the father contacted law enforcement.
During a joint investigation by the Stone County Sheriff’s Department and the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division that began immediately after the report, interviews were conducted with the victim; Jenah Horning, the mother of the child; and Maricle, the boyfriend. Both Horning and Maricle admitted to spanking the child prior to the investigation. At one point, Maricle stated he “may have struck” the victim harder than intended, according to the report.
On Dec. 11, investigator Brad Breeding with the Stone County Sheriff’s Department prepared an affidavit for the arrest of Horning and Maricle. Prosecuting Attorney Holly Meyer formally charged Horning with permitting abuse of a minor, a class D felony. Meyer also charged Maricle with second-degree battery, also a class D felony.
Both are scheduled for Stone County Circuit Court on Jan. 11, 2018. Horning’s bond is set at $10,000 while Maricle’s is set at $15,000.
Jenah Horning (left), Aaron Maricle (right) / Images via Stone County Sheriff’s Department