Closing arguments heard in trial of Norfolk man accused in 4-year-old son’s death


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — After four days of testimony, both sides presented closing arguments in the trial of Hank Smith surrounding the death of his son, 4-year-old Larkin Carr.

Smith’s fate will soon be in the hands of a jury as the three-year anniversary of Larkin Carr’s death comes up next month.

On Thursday, attorneys presented closing arguments in Smith’s trial.

Smith faces felony homicide as well as child abuse and neglect charges for the 2018 death of his son.

His girlfriend, Catherine Seals, pleaded guilty to felony homicide and child abuse and neglect charges in 2019.

Police say Seals’ teenage son, then-14-year-old Robert “Robbie” Bolsinger-Hartshorn, is accused of beating Larkin to death.

Bolsinger-Hartshorn is facing a second-degree murder charge. He will be tried as an adult in February.

A medical examiner testified in court Wednesday saying Larkin had up to 90 bruises on his body at the time of his death and the 4-year-old died of blunt force trauma.

During closing arguments, Smith’s defense team said the case was about awareness, arguing Bolsinger-Hartshorn is at fault for Larkin’s death and the day-to-day care of Larkin was up to Seals since Smith constantly traveled for work.

They also argued Norfolk Child Protective Services ignored a complaint filed against Bolsinger-Hartshorn months before Larkin’s death.

Smith’s team said he was a father trying his best to work hard for his family.

Prosecutors argued Smith acted in his own best interest multiple times, including when he allegedly lied months prior to Larkin’s death saying he was strangled by his younger brother and not Bolsinger-Hartshorn.

Prosecutors also said Smith ignored Larkin’s calls for help and intervention when he tried to tell him about the alleged abuse from Bolsinger-Hartshorn.

Prosecutors said medical intervention could’ve saved Larkin’s life.

Jury deliberations will start back up again Friday morning.

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