Tahlequah Daily Press

May 24, 2013

Man charged with abuse for spanking boy 20 times

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Cherokee County prosecutors have filed child abuse charges against a local man who allegedly spanked a boy 20 times with a wooden paddle.

Damon Ashley Shirrel, 32, of Rose, faces a felony count of child abuse by injury. He is being held in the Cherokee County Detention Center on a $7,000 bond.

Shirrel was arrested by Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Lewandowski after the deputy was contacted by the Department of Human Services.

Investigators with DHS said Shirrel was allegedly punishing a 12-year-old boy for lying, and when the boy would not write a particular sentence hundreds of times, Shirrel used a wooden paddle to spank the child 20 times. The boy’s body was “severely bruised” after the alleged spankings, according to a court document filed in the case.

A report of Shirrel’s arrest indicates he made 20 marks on the paddle to record the spankings, and then labeled the paddle as the victim’s “unspared rod.”

Lewandowski arrested Shirrel at the DHS building when the suspect was applying for assistance, according to the deputy’s report. Shirrel allegedly told the deputy he had “just spanked [the boy] 10 times,” according to Lewandowski’s report.

Shirrel is set for his initial appearance in court May 28 at 1 p.m. in front of Associate District Judge Mark Dobbins.