Parents jailed on child abuse charge

HUNTINGTON — Two Huntington parents were jailed over the weekend after a video surfaced of a father allegedly beating a 17-year-old with a belt.

Freddie Dean Gray Jr., 45, and Jamie Erin Gray, 36, were both arrested and charged on Saturday with child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, conspiracy, domestic battery and domestic assault.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Cabell County Magistrate Court, West Virginia State Police troopers were dispatched to the Grays’ home on Saturday for a domestic disturbance reported in the first block of Smith Drive in Huntington.

When troopers arrived, the Grays were found arguing with a juvenile, who was attempting to leave the home. Troopers questioned the victim on why she wanted to leave the home, and the teenager told police Freddie Gray had beaten her with a broken belt while her step-mother, Jamie Gray, recorded it on her sister’s cell phone earlier in the week.

According to the complaint, the video shows the teen being struck with a belt at least 29 times. The teen’s arms were held down so she was unable to block the blows from the belt, the complaint said. Troopers examined the victim’s legs, which were covered with welts and bruising.

Freddie Gray is also heard asking the teen several aggressive questions throughout the video, the complaint said.

According to the criminal complaint, Freddie Gray admitted in hindsight he believed the punishment was excessive and should not have been taken that far.

Both Grays are currently housed at Western Regional Jail in Barboursville.