EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHammer, Suspected Blood Stained Carpet And Towel Recovered During Baby Death Investigation
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported: May. 29, 2014 6:14 PM EDT
Updated: May. 29, 2014 8:33 PM EDT
WINFIELD, W.Va. (Leslie Rubin) -- Eyewitness News has uncovered startling details in the case against a father accused of killing his 5-week-old son.
Evidence was recovered during a search that could shed light on how the baby died.
Robert Jeremy Smith, 33, was in court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing, but it is information uncovered outside the courtroom that begins to paint a picture of the investigation.
According to a search warrant, police seized a hammer, along with possible blood stained carpet and a towel from Smith's mother's home in Hurricane. Police believe the child died in the home.
Smith sobbed in court as he waived the case against him to the grand jury. He's accused of killing his son, Madden, and waiting 27 hours before telling anyone the child was dead.
"They wanted to waive that in exchange for any kind of early discovery, reports, pictures, interviews, anything that we had on hand or anything that came in prior to indictment," Putnam County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kris Raynes said.
Police found the dead infant in a car seat outside Smith's wife's Kanawha City home on May 21 after she called 911.
Police said Smith came to the Venable Avenue home and tried to slit his own throat, allegedly telling his wife he had killed the baby.
Police soon executed a search warrant in Kanawha City, and at Smith's mother's home on Shank Avenue in Hurricane.
According to the search warrant, Hurricane police seized 13 pieces of evidence from the home, including a hammer, possible suicide notes, and a possible blood stained piece of carpet, and towel.
Hurricane police said the hammer will be tested at the West Virginia State Police Crime Lab on Friday. It is currently at the medical examiner's office.
Police said the possibility that the hammer was used in the crime is still being investigated.
"Jeremy loves all of his children. He loves his step-children too," said Smith's mother on the night he was arrested.
She was in the courtroom, along with Smith's brother, but both declined to be interviewed.
They had previously told Eyewitness News they believed Smith accidentally dropped the infant because he has a bad arm.
The search warrant also said Smith told police that's what had happened, and when he picked the baby back up, he was gasping for air.
He went on to say, he laid his son on the bed but could not find a pulse, and admitted to shaking the child.
Fearing he would get in trouble, Smith told police he did not call 911. Instead, he got into the shower, and tried to cut his neck before passing out.
When he woke up the next day, he told police that for hours he "just set and pondered about what had occurred." The warrant states. "After the child was dead, he said he wrote four suicide notes to his mother and then decided to throw the notes in the trash can."
Eventually, he put the child in the carseat, and drove to Kanawha City where police made that shocking discovery.
The search warrant goes on to say the infant had "visible deformation of the skull," with blood coming from his nose and ears.
Police have said they believe the baby had multiple skull fractures.
Smith is on suicide watch and in isolation at the Western Regional Jail.
Police took DNA swabs from Smith after his hearing.
His case could be presented to the next Putnam County grand jury, which meets in July.
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