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Mother accused of scarring 'wimp' daughter

Nov. 23, 2008 at 1:02 PM

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va., Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A West Virginia mother used a burning cigarette to write the word "wimp" on the neck of her 6-year-old daughter after the child tripped, police allege.

Police have arrested Tammy Smith, 43, of Moundsville and charged her with felony child abuse and malicious assault for allegedly burning her daughter in a fit of anger over the child's accident, the Wheeling (W.Va.) Intelligencer reported Saturday.

"The 'i' was even dotted," Detective Shawn Allman said of the "wimp" burn on the child.

Allman said the apparent abuse case came to authorities' attention after one of the girl's teachers noticed her scar and contacted social services, who contacted police.

The investigating detective said following Smith's arrest Friday that the letters burned into the child's neck were recognizable and will likely become scars.

The newspaper said the unidentified child has been placed in protective custody pending a foster care assignment, while her mother faces a maximum 75-year prison sentence if convicted on all 10 felony charges.

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