Father Charged in Son's Death Sobs During Court Hearing

PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The father charged in connection with his 5-week-old son's death sobbed during a court hearing on Thursday.

Robert "Jeremy" Smith is charged with child abuse resulting in death.

Smith was scheduled to be in court Thursday for his preliminary hearing in Putnam County, but he waived his case to the grand jury.

However, before the hearing ended, Smith's attorney told the magistrate there was no need to lower Smith's bond because he's being held in isolation in jail. Right now, Smith's bond is set for $500,000.

Smith's son, Madden Smith, was found dead in a car in Kanawha City last week. Smith was also in the car with a self inflicted injury.

According to the criminal complaint, at first, Smith told police he dropped the baby, but later admitted to shaking Madden.

Police say Smith said he was watching his son in Hurricane when he heard him crying. The complaint says he went to pick up the boy, but Madden fell floor and was gasping for air. Smith told police he didn't feel a pulse so he wrapped Madden in a blanket, but didn't call 911 for 27 hours.

Smith told police he was scared he would get in trouble, according to the complaint.

Police say Madden died at the home in Hurricane and Smith later drove him to Charleston.

Police say Smith talked to the baby's mother during that time, but never mentioned what happened to their son. Police say Smith also slept during that time.

Police say when they found Madden in the car, he felt malleable to the touch, more so than the typical soft skulls of infants his age, and he had an apparent abrasion on his forehead.

According to the criminal complaint, Madden appeared to have suffered multiple skull fractures.

Also, after Thursday's hearing police took DNA samples from Smith as part of their investigation.

Smith's family attended his court hearing Thursday.

Madden's family wrote in his obituary "Madden may have only lived 47 short days, be he touched the lives of many people!!!" The family also writes "The only peace we have is knowing Madden has life more abundantly in heaven with Jesus! We will see Madden again soon!"

The family held a service Wednesday to honor Madden's life.

Charleston Police say Smith had previously faced two separate child neglect charges, one in Putnam County and one in Kanawha County, and both were dismissed. They say he'd also been convicted of domestic battery in Charleston in 2007.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 261095591 - wsaz.com/a?a=261095591