NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The man who police say had a hand in his 4-year-old son’s death is back in Norfolk.
Hank Smith, 40, was arrested in Harrisonburg two weeks ago. He’s charged with homicide in the beating death of Larkin Carter Carr.
“I wish I could have seen the signs sooner,” Smith said from jail Tuesday.
Smith now sits in the Norfolk City Jail after being transferred. He is held without bond.
“I wish I did things different, I honestly do, but I can’t go back and change it,” Smith added.
Larkin died in November 2018. Police say he was beaten to death by 14-year-old Robert Bolsinger-Hartshorn.
Robert, who lived with Larkin, is charged with second-degree murder. Robert’s mother Catherine Seals has already pleaded guilty to felony homicide. She didn’t stop the beatings from happening.
Police say Smith did nothing to stop them either.
“I feel like I don’t deserve to go jail, because I wouldn’t let anything like that happen to my kid,” Smith said.
Prosecutors say Larkin had between 60 and 90 bruises on him.
“I asked about the bruises, but I didn’t know where they came from,” Smith said.
Smith says he worked out of town and wasn’t home that much — not enough to know Larkin was abused, he said.
“I was trying to be a partner with somebody I trusted,” Smith said. “I didn’t come home every time and check my kids to see if there were any marks or bruises.”
The weekend Larkin died, Smith was in town. The 4-year-old was throwing up blood, but his father never called 911.
“I didn’t know it was exactly blood, because I had never been in that predicament,” Smith said. “I thought it was just something he ate.”
Smith was offered a plea deal on charges of child abuse and neglect before he was charged with homicide. He turned it down, because he says he didn’t want to be in jail away from his kids.
Smith will be in court Thursday.
“I would tell him [Larkin] I’m sorry for letting him down,” Smith said.
Seals is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 31. Her plea agreement caps her potential sentence at 21 years and 6 months.
Robert, the 14-year-old, is undergoing sanity and competency evaluations, which will be reviewed by a judge in January. Pending those results, Robert will be tried as an adult on a second-degree murder charge in Norfolk Circuit Court.
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