Two young brothers were reportedly kidnapped and abused Wednesday night in Mississippi by a man who was supposed to be under house arrest and wearing a monitoring bracelet at the time. James Harold Smith allegedly convinced the two boys, who are 5 and 8, to leave their yard and follow him to his trailer. He then reportedly slit the older boy's throat and may have sexually assaulted both boys. The children are okay and the 8-year-old is hospitalized but expected to survive -- thank heavens -- but it's disgusting to think that this heinous crime could have been avoided.
Let's focus on the amazing part of this story first: the elder sibling basically saved his younger brother and himself from a situation that -- who knows? -- may have resulted in an even worse fate for them. After his throat was slashed, and while bleeding profusely, the 8-year-old escaped and ran to a neighbor's house for help. When cops arrived at Smith's trailer, the lunatic tried to flee his home with the younger brother, but police were able to block his car. He abandoned the child and then attempted to run away, but was caught a few miles away and arrested.
Arrested for the second time this year, I should add.
As it turns out, Smith was arrested earlier in the year and sentenced to five years in prison for drug violations involving methamphetamine and assaulting a police officer. But he was released after just four months and, proving he could "kick" his habit by completing a drug and alcohol rehab program, was sentenced to house arrest.
But that wasn't his first arrest, either. The man was sentenced to four years in prison for stolen property in 2006 and then had his probation revoked in 2011 for not reporting and paying his fines.
So whose bright idea was it to reward a criminal who clearly hasn't learned his lesson by granting him the privilege of a house arrest? I understand that our prisons are overcrowded and that this serves as a solution to that problem. I would probably be in favor of it if Smith's only charge was meth and he could prove he kicked his habit. But, given his prior record and ability to be violent, was it really wise to let him off so easily? Absolutely not.
Let's hope Smith finally gets what he deserves for the horrific crimes he committed against these little boys. He is currently being held on $3.5 million bond and has been charged with attempted murder, sexual battery, kidnapping, and resisting arrest.
Do you think it was wrong to put this man on house arrest?
Image via .v1ctor Casale./Flickr