SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A longtime Tyler police officer and his wife turned themselves in at the Smith County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday after felony injury to a child arrest warrants were issued for them in connection with two 13-year-old children making an outcry of physical abuse.
According to a press release from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Mark and Cheryl Layne, both of Whitehouse, were arrested and charged with third-degree felony injury to a child Tuesday. Their bond amounts were set at $75,000 each, and they were released after they posted bail later that day.
Don Martin, a spokesman for the Tyler Police Department, said that Mark Layne has been with the Tyler Police Department for 21 years. He added that Mark Layne has been put on administrative leave while the Smith County Sheriff’s Office investigates the allegations.
On Sept. 13, Smith County Sheriff’s Office investigators responded to Whitehouse ISD after the two 13-year-old children made an outcry of physical abuse. The outcry was made to the White House Police Department school resource officer.
Officials from Child Protective Services also responded, and they took custody of the two children, the press release stated.
“The children were interviewed by both the Child Protective Services as well as an investigator of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office,” the press release stated. “Forensic interviews were conducted of the children at the Children’s Advocacy Center that same evening.”
State District Judge Christi Kennedy issued a search warrant for Mark and Cheryl’s home on County Road 2192 on Sept. 13. When the warrant was served, visible injuries were observed on two of the children, and additional evidence was collected during the search of the residence, the press release stated.
Kennedy issued arrest warrants for Mark and Cheryl Layne on Tuesday. They turned themselves in at the sheriff’s office later that day and were booked into the jail.