Judge: Mother 'quite involved' in abuse of children

Hannah Harrell

An Earlington mother charged with abusing her two sons may have tried to help her boyfriend cover up their actions.

Hopkins County District Judge Bill Whitledge said Friday that a search warrant discovered several deleted text messages between Hannah Harrell, 21, and Caleb Cobb, 25, discussing injuries to the boys. Cobb is charged with first degree assault and tampering with physical evidence. Harrell is charged with second degree criminal abuse.

At an arraignment hearing for Harrell, Whitledge told her that "there was a time period of approximately 30 minutes after you discovered the condition of these children before you notified or contacted your mother with what to do."

The judge said that delay cost valuable minutes in providing attention to the children after Cobb allegedly assaulted them in early August at the Quail Run Apartments. The boys eventually needed follow-up attention in Nashville.

Whitledge also revealed that investigators found Cobb had struck the boys on previous occasions, and Harrell knew about it.

"At first, I didn't think you had any involvement," Whitledge said. "But it appears that you were quite involved. The court's concerned about that."

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For that reason, Whitledge refused a request to reduce Harrell's $250,000 bond. Newly-hired attorney Lindsey Taylor argued Harrell has no prior criminal record and is not a flight risk. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Hannah Kington-Jarvis contended the bond was "not unreasonable" based on the nature of the crime.

Harrell waived her right to a preliminary hearing Friday, which means both Harrell's and Cobb's cases will go before a grand jury. Cobb remains in the Hopkins County Jail on $500,000 bond.

In other arraignment cases Friday:

• Macey McElfresh, 22, of Madisonville was granted a reduced bond after she was arrested Sunday on methamphetamine trafficking charges. She can go free by posting 10 percent of a $5,000 bond.

• Anthey Jones, Jr., 26, of Madisonville, who was arrested along with McElfresh, was denied a bond reduction. He remains held on $15,000 bond for charges, which include not only meth trafficking, but possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

• Tommy McElveen, 30, of Henderson was placed under $20,000 bond for a July 5 robbery in Hopkins County. Whitledge said McElveen already is scheduled for trial in Henderson in late November.

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