Updated 8 months ago by Josh Breslow
A Harlan County man has been arrested, accused of forcibly placing a young child in a functioning deep freezer and keeping him inside.
Randy Hammons faces charges of attempted murder and criminal abuse. The 24-year-old is accused of putting his live-in girlfriend's three-year-old son inside the freezer, then closing the lid. Family members of the child claim Hammons not only sat on top to keep it shut, but that he also left the boy in there for about 20 minutes.
"It makes me cry every time I think about it," the child's relative, Portia Bearden told LEX 18. Bearden identified herself as the boy's cousin, but said she is more commonly referred to as his grandmother.
Over the phone, Bearden said she called child protective services several times in the past because she said Hammons abused the boy, "biting him in the face, hitting him, picking him up by the face, and hanging him upside down on the door."
Court documents obtained by LEX 18 claim Hammons caused "serious physical injuries to [the] 3-year-old ... by striking the child, leaving marks and bruises" before allegedly placing him inside the "functioning" freezer. The boy was taken to the emergency room at Harlan ARH, where Bearden said he was treated for a head injury. The papers go on to say "the child, along with 5 brothers and sisters was removed and placed in protective custody."
"I feel that if that baby would've been in that household another day, another week, he wouldn't have been so lucky," Bearden said. "I'd like to see somebody do him, like he did that baby. I honestly do. To me, I don't think life in prison would be good enough for what he did to that baby."
The child's mother, Connie Jenkins has been charged with criminal abuse and is also being held in the Harlan County Detention Center.
Bearden said she and other family members will go to court to try to get custody of all six of Connie Jenkins' kids.
LEX 18 reached out to Hammons and Jenkins. They both declined our request to share their side of the story from the Harlan County Detention Center.