Thursday, July 6th, 2006
By Shelley Grieshop
Mom admits to shooting pellets at son
  A Celina woman has pleaded guilty to torturing her 4-year-old son by shooting him repeatedly on numerous occasions with a spring-air pellet gun.
Martha Groenewoud Smith, 22, formerly of 1211/2 E. Wayne St., offered a plea of guilty to a third-degree felony charge of child endangerment during a hearing Wednesday in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Another charge of child endangerment was dismissed in a plea agreement.
Smith, who recently married and is expecting another child, faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A sentence hearing was set by Judge Jeffrey Ingraham for Aug. 2.
Flanked by her attorney, Judy Koesters, and accompanied to court by her husband, Smith quietly answered questions posed to her by Ingraham. Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox read the facts of the case that state the young mother of four repeatedly used a pellet gun to "torture and cruelly abuse" her son.
Ingraham then turned to Smith to confirm she understood the allegations.
"Is that accurate to the underlying facts of this case Ms. Groenewoud?" he asked.
"Yes," she answered softly.
The 4-year-old and two siblings - a daughter and son who were 5 years old and 6 months, respectively, when their mother was indicted in January - are currently in foster care. Another child of Smith's reportedly lives with his father.
The case is being handled jointly with the county children's services agency. Neither Ingraham or Fox have revealed any information about the future placement of Smith's children following her sentencing in August. Authorities believe the abuse was directed at the 4-year-old but not his siblings.
According to the report from the Celina Police Department, Smith shot at her son with a Stinger P30 brand pellet gun on numerous occasions from November through January 2. Following a tip, police went to the home to investigate and discovered the boy with welts and bruises to his head, chest, legs, back and buttocks. The injuries were determined to have accumulated over a period of two months.
Authorities believe some of the injuries may have been directed to the boy as a form of punishment.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Fort Recovery farm is reported as overrun with rats
• Proposed maintenance code passes first reading
• Fort Recovery native says yes to position
• Administrators and council disagree on need for new cruisers
• Council sets price for land parcel
• Young movie fans may face curfew charge
• Chair-ity Auction scheduled for Saturday
• Seasoned bowler to start 51st year
• Grand Lake trio combines to two-hit Xenia in 8-0 shutout
a_d
Today
69°
Becoming Sunny
10%
Tonight
41°
Clear
Tomorrow
62°
Sunny
Tomorrow Night
47°
Mostly Clear
5%
Monday
75°
Partly Sunny
6%
Monday Night
61°
Partly Cloudy
13%
Tuesday
68°
Rain Showers Likely
72%
Tuesday Night
44°
Partly Cloudy
14%
Wednesday
55°
Mostly Cloudy
10%
Wednesday Night
37°
Partly Cloudy
6%
Thursday
55°
Mostly Cloudy
14%
Thursday Night
43°
Mostly Cloudy
16%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d
camera_logo Photo Albums
Friday, October 24
index pict
video_logoOnline Video
Thursday, October 2
index pict
Accident at 127 and 119
Monday, September 29
index pict
Grand Lake Marathon