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Man Charged In Connection With Son's Death Waives Preliminary Hearing

Reported: May. 29, 2014 10:35 AM EDT
Updated: May. 29, 2014 12:49 PM EDT
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INFIELD, W.Va. (Leslie Rubin, Jeff Morris) – A man charged with child abuse resulting in death after his 5-week-old son was found dead in a car seat waived his preliminary hearing Thursday in Putnam County Magistrate Court.

Robert Jeremy Smith, 33, was in court and was crying during the proceeding. Charleston police said they will conduct DNA swabs on Smith because of a search warrant issued last week.

Last week, Smith’s son was found dead in a car seat on Venable Avenue in Charleston. Court records said when police arrived, he exited the vehicle and said, “The baby is dead. I killed the baby.”

Smith, who police said attempted to slit his throat after driving the dead infant from Putnam County to Kanawha City, previously claimed he was caring for his son when he heard him crying, picked him up and dropped him when he lost his grip. The baby suffered multiple skull fractures. Court records said Smith indicated he did not call 911 for 27 hours because he was afraid he would get into trouble.

In court on Thursday, an attorney said Smith is in isolation at the jail and is on a suicide watch.

Last week, Smith’s mother and brother told Eyewitness News they believed the baby’s death was an accident. Smith’s family declined comment after Thursday’s hearing.



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