Friday, May 23, 2014

Recently separated dad charged in death of 5-week-old son; didn't tell anybody baby was dead for 27 hours (Putnam County, West Virginia)

The article doesn't say anything about Dad's past history of abuse, but this scenario is very typical of a controlling abuser. These guys are the most dangerous right after the break up of their relationship or marriage, because they are losing control over their victim(s). This is when women and children are the most likely to be killed. Even if Dad had no (known) history of child abuse, it is not uncommon for these guys to harm or even kill the kids as a way to "punish" Mom. Murder-suicide is a frequent result.

Dad is identified as ROBERT JEREMY SMITH.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Father charged in death of 5-week-old son

By Rusty Marks, Staff writer

A Hurricane man has been charged in the death of a baby found dead Wednesday in the back seat of a car in Kanawha City.

Robert Jeremy Smith, 33, of Shank Avenue in Hurricane, was arraigned by video this morning in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. He is charged with death of a child by a parent as a result of child abuse. Charges were filed in Putnam County, but Smith was arrested in Kanawha County.

According to a criminal complaint, Smith had been caring for his 5-week-old son, Madden A. Smith, at his Shank Avenue home. The infant died on Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith first told police he picked the boy up and accidentally dropped him, but later said he had shaken the infant. According to the criminal complaint, Smith realized Madden was dead within minutes, but didn't tell anyone for more than 27 hours because "he was afraid he would get into trouble."

Madden's body was found in the back seat of a red Toyota Corolla at 3815 Venable Ave. on Wednesday afternoon. Robert Smith was also there, with his throat cut. Police said he apparently attempted to take his own life.

Charleston Police Department Chief of Detectives Lt. Steve Cooper said Robert Smith had been living in Kanawha City, but recently moved to the Hurricane address. Smith and his wife, Jennifer, had apparently separated recently, Cooper said.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith allegedly told officers who responded to the scene that, "The baby is dead; I killed the baby."

According to the criminal complaint, Madden had apparent abrasions on his forehead when examined by paramedics, and appeared to have suffered multiple skull fractures.

Robert Smith was being held Thursday in Western Regional Jail in lieu of a $500,000 bail. According to the Regional Jail Authority website, Smith is 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds.

In 2013, Robert and Jennifer Smith faced misdemeanor charges of child neglect creating risk of bodily injury or death. Those charges were later dismissed.

The couple had let their 12-year-old child watch over four other children -- ages 10 years, 5 years, 4 years and 3 months -- while they were away, according to a criminal complaint filed in that case. Police said the 12-year-old wasn’t old enough to watch over the baby.