Jennifer Smith/MetroNews

Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants emerged from magistrate court following Monday’s arraignment.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants has been charged with misdemeanor domestic battery for allegedly going too far in disciplining one of his children.

Plants was arraigned Monday morning in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. He was released on bond.

The criminal complaint said Plants used a leather belt to strike his son more than 10 times. The complaint said Plants’ son told investigators he discovered his scooter was missing and found his step-brother riding it so he shoved him off. He said when he returned home his father was waiting on him.

The charges follow an investigation by State Police following a complaint filed by Plants’ ex-wife Allison Plants. She alleged his discipline was excessive. Special Prosecutor Sid Bell said after meeting with State Police he decided last Friday to charge Plants.

Following Monday’s arraignment Plants said he was “not guilty of any criminal conduct” and would let the judicial system run its course.

The criminal complaint further said the investigating officer observed photographs that showed a “U’ shaped bruise on the back of the left thigh of Plants’ son. The prosecutor did admit to using a belt to the investigator. He first said he struck his son two times and then said three or four times. He said the incident “lasted no more than 20 seconds.”

Allison Plants gained a domestic violence protection order against her ex-husband soon after she filed the complaint with State Police. Plants was arrested earlier this month for allegedly violating the terms of the order. He said he saw his sons in a dark parking lot and was standing with them until their mother came out of a Charleston pharmacy. The two sides reached a settlement on the case and Plants has agreed to undergo counseling.

Prosecutor Plants previously said he and his ex-wife had agreed on spanking when necessary when they were husband and wife. He said it wasn’t a problem until he remarried. Plants is now married to his former secretary.

Plants was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bond.


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  • Jason412

    "He first said he struck his son two times and then said three or four times."

    The old flip flop on the story, I wonder how many people he's eventually indicted for the same thing, "inconsistencies in their story".

    We, me and my cousins, used to try to put text books in the back of our pants when we knew in advance we were in for a whipping and much like Gloria we were sent to get our own switches.Thinking of it now makes me laugh. I'd say more kids today could use the life lessons learned from such punishment, but as with everything, in moderation. There is a fine line between punishment and abuse.


    IN THE 40's & 50'sm.. My grandmother sent the one that were going to be discipline to get a switch and bring it to her where she preceded to switch on the legs! Also a bit bat & a belt was used ! Then you had to sit for a while .. and then inform your parents or grandparents that you will not do it again! Spanking was not done often .... Most of the time all they had to do was speak your name once and you knew to stop what you were doing! All my DAD did was snap his finger and I knew! But we all grew up loving our grandparents and parents! Using a belt and switch did not harm our family any ! We had respect and manners and I might say no harm was done! I raised my two children with the same rules and there was no problems there ! THEY KNEW TO BEHAVE AND RESPECT THEIR ELDERS!

    • Karen

      If/when you were a kid in the 40's and 50's there was also apparently lynching in the south against african americans, wide spread racial segregation, accepted gender inequality, prison camps for Japanese Americans after WWII... just to name a few of America's past black eyes... times change and things change. Spanking your kid with an open hand may be acceptable punishment to some people. However, hitting your kid with an object to the point of leaving welts and bruises is abuse in the 21st century. Ask the police, ask the DHHR, ask any licensed psychologist...

      • Paul Paxton

        yea that's why we have children pregnant at 13, hooked on drugs at 12 and using our welfare system as a career choice!!!

  • Pickle Barrel

    A whipping with a belt? I had my share of those when I was a kid…and deserved every one of them. Did it hurt? Sure. Did I turn out to be a criminal, mentally unstable or beat my child? No. And my father wasn't a drunk or a wife-beater either. As far as we know, this is an isolated incident that the mother appears to be maxing the mileage with out of spite.

  • thornton

    It is clear that he went beyond the accepted norm...the reason he did likely involves far more than a response to the scooter incident. I expect far more is also involved in the marital relationship decline as well.

    Use of an object as a vehicle of punishment is....weak, very weak. That others experienced a whuppin' years ago is no reason to allow jumbo there to use a belt on a child. It signifies a loss of control well before, along with during, the swatting incident and more than a simple decision on child discipline.

    That level of anger taken out on a child is being ignored in favor of male rights or golddigger thoughts or "why, when I was a kid..." type of stuff is sad. That level of anger resulted in abuse...he deserves what he got, probably deserves more from concerned family members with a thought for the kids.

    • Aaron

      I'm curious sir, how are your comments any different then some of the ones below? It seems to me that you are assuming facts that have not been substantiated as well. Do you know for a fact that "jumbo" lost control and beat his kids?

      • thornton

        I would say that "bruising" implies a loss of I expect an adult and a parent, hopefully, would not believe that leaving bruises on a child from a good thing.

        I am assuming that bruising occurred....that could well be in error but, perhaps, the smile on jumbo's face above, when leaving the arraignment, leads me to believe that the bruise(s) occurred...attitude is tough to conceal.

        Personally, I believe that spanking a child can often be advised as the child learns to manipulate the parents or the situations both.
        Bruising though is bad and using an object to strike or deliver fear before the I said a weak response on the part of the parent.
        It loses, to me, much of the impact, pun intended, and requires an ever-increasing degree of ...spanking. Much as a loud shout leads only to even louder shouting as it is repeated.
        Jumbo made a mistake....he should have controlled his actions and found the maturity to not abuse his child.

        Others, naturally, will differ.
        The world still spins.

        • Aaron

          Years ago, I had one of my sons at the ER for one aliment or another and after the doctor got done checking him out, we were told to wait. After about 10 minutes of setting with a squirming 2 year old a lady comes in and starts asking question about how he fell, what happened and then she gets around to the 'bruising' on his legs.

          At that point, my suspicions were confirmed I explained to here that he's a fair skinned boy with 3 brothers who are allowed to play. I said if that wasn't good enough for her, to call the police as I was leaving either with or without my discharge papers and no more questions would be answered without the advice of counsel.

          Some kids bruise easily, others don't. Without some sort of proof, your assumption are just that.

          • Aaron

            You saw through me my arse. Your comments are anecdotal at best,and you know it. You're no different than the poster who commented that he should have smacked his wife as well. Keep telling yourself that you know different thought.


          • thornton

            Hardly,Aaron...but I saw thru you and I see no reason not to give a reasoned opinion, w/o personal coloring, in a comment section.

          • Aaron

            You should volunteer your services as apparently you know it all.

          • thornton

            I expect this was not the first time a belt was whipped out for the lad...if it was, then it implies an even greater lack or loss of control.

            If not the first then it is likely that the child being an.... easy-bruiser(good lord)...would have been noticed aforenow and I expect the attorneys would have made public mention to offset the note in the officer's report and the subsequent 2+2.

            Your experience is just that and apparently far different than dealing with "disciplining" a child.
            My guess is that you are a bit over-sensitive to the entire bruising issue with children...likely deservedly so. That personal, separate and different experience however, to me, does not excuse a father from taking a belt to a child and causing a bruise during an attempt at discipline.

            Sounds like the entire family, split and present, need some face time with a counselor to help deal with frustration and anger issues...or this type incident will be repeated....possibly in the next generation. Same with folk's need of hanging out around pharmacies.

            Whole lot of issues ongoing here and a whole peck of assuming going on as well....on your part and mine. It is the nature of the beast. . My assumptions though have the welfare of a child trumping Jumbo.
            Each to their own.

  • SW

    Spankings are quite a bit different than beating a kid with a belt hard enough to leave marks! The investigating officer took the pictures and saw the marks. If my kid had marks from something his dad....or anyone else did, I'd do the same thing. You Mark Plants supporters need to get a life. This WAS child abuse. Good for Allison for calling a spade a spade!

    • BIM Job

      If it was so bad, why wait so long to report it? Sounds to me like a jealous ex. If it was really that bad, she should be charged with child endangerment or neglect for failing to report it and get the child out of the situation.

    • Unequal for men

      Life's experiences have taught us most women thinking as you are generally tramps and poor mothers.

      Many of these gold-digging women she young professionals as Plant as their meal ticket to pay for their past indiscretion like a illegitimate child they acquired during their more youthful career as a bar-fly. Don't know if this is the case with Plant's spouse-- I hope not.

      • Larry

        Could be, apparently she had a child in some manner before they got together.

  • J

    Actually hilarious, PLANTS Getting one rammed in his rear. much like his heavy handed bunch does.

  • J

    He should have smacked her around a little more. Make her understand he is the man.

    • Aaron

      That's not even a tasteless comment.

  • Hillbilly

    Betcha if Mama was brought up on charges for leaving the kids alone in the car as this says this whole thing would go away..

    • Jim G.

      They were not infants you idiot. They are in grade school and middle school.

  • Aaron

    As a man in a domestic violence petition, Mr. Plants is not presumed innocent, the burden of proof falls on him, not the presumption of innocence. Failure by him to vindicate his actions will result in a guilty verdict and him losing his rights. Sadly, this is one area females do not want equal rights under the law.

    • WVU86

      So, Aaron, you take others to task for making "assumptions" and yet you post this gem, "Sadly, this is one area females do not want equal rights under the law." Good to know you can speak for every single women in this country and you are not assuming any of them would agree with your post.

  • northforkfisher

    I had whippings as a child and never did I have a u shape bruises. How can they tell if the pictures are real and not doctored. I'm not taking up for him, if he left bruises he needs to pay.
    I'm saying if it is not true than don't ruin his life and put the kids through the misery of a trail. It's fishy that it's been allowed for this long before being reported.
    To many people abuse the system with vindictive false charges, that a lot of actual cases get missed.

  • wv4life

    Sounds to me like the ex-wife should have received the same treatment when she was younger from her father as her ex husband was using on the child and she would not be so upset for the child getting his butt whipped with a belt. That is the problem with the world today just let them do what they want don't correct them for God's sake just let the grow up and fill the jails up. I am strongly against child abuse but 100% for correcting the child if needed. Sounds like a little jealously to me. He has moved on and she has not so she is going to make his life he..!!

  • Got that when I was a kid

    Whipped the kid with a belt huh? Well, if my Dad wasn't deceased would someone come after him for the spankings I deserved 40 something years ago? It only happened once or twice. From then on, just the motion of Dad going for his belt straightened me out quick.

  • Ouch

    10X? Goodness, looks like my mother would been wearing orange back in the day. I think I turned out pretty well though. First to get a college education in the family and a masters degree at that. No scars here, now where is my belt!

    • reality check

      Great, you could take a beating. congrats.

  • Carmen

    This is what happens when a woman is scorned.
    As often she is managing to ruin her own children's life and her ex husband's ability to provide for them.
    Someone who knows this woman need to take her aside and put her vindictive actions to an end.
    She looks like a Fool

    • J

      he is the fool.

    • Hillbilly

      "God hath no wrath such that of a woman scorned."

  • Joe Schmoe

    This is what happens when liberals make the rules. The kid just got his ass spanked.

    • WVU86

      So "the kid" reclaims his scooter which was taken from him. Sound like to me "the kid" was in the right in the first place, taking back what was his by way of street justice. "The kid" didn't do the "liberal" thing and cry to an adult. He took matters into his own hands and the result? He gets bruised up by someone four times his size. You people are ridiculous for supporting someone who "used a leather belt to strike his son more than 10 times." This is a proper punishment for someone who rightfully took back something that was taken from him?

      • Aaron

        You know that he whipped his kid more than 10 times?

        • WVU86

          Criminal complaint says he whipped kid 10 times. Any reason to not believe the state trooper making the report? Not to mention no where have I read that Plants disputes this. Rationale insight Aaron. Look into it.

        • reality check

          you can just look at the man and tell he's got anger issues (and a problem keeping his pants on in the office)

          • Aaron

            No, I can't. You may claim to possess that ability but I'm skeptical.

    • There you go politicizing

      Shut up I am a liberal and I fully support ass whooping stick to the discussion at hand.