Three bound over for trial in Wilson child abuse case
Three people facing charges in the death of a 3-year-old Wilson child have been bound over for trial.
Following a preliminary hearing on the morning of Jan. 26, Special District Judge Carson Brooks found probable cause to support the allegations against the child’s aunt, Shannon Michelle Smith, 30, the child’s father, James Daren Smith, 23, and the child’s uncle, Frank James Smith, 25.
Each individual was charged with one count of child abuse in relation to the incident earlier this year. Shannon and James Smith’s charges were amended to first-degree murder in November after the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation submitted a completed report to the district attorney.
The Smiths will be read their charges and asked to enter their pleas during a formal arraignment set for Feb. 17.
Wilson police responded to the Smiths’ residence on July 30. Chief Kevin Coley said police were told that a 3-year-old child had allegedly fallen out of a crib and was unresponsive.
When they arrived, they located the child, who reportedly had a head injury, lacerations on his body and bruises from head to toe. Coley said the child was not responding at the time and was rushed to Mercy Hospital in Healdton.
The child was later declared deceased. An autopsy report that was submitted in November reportedly cited multiple blunt force trauma injuries as the cause of death.
The amended charging documents accuse James and Shannon Smith of using unreasonable force to severely injure the child and cause “his violent death.” If found guilty, James and Shannon Smith could face life imprisonment.
Frank Smith could also potentially spend life in prison if found guilty, as child abuse carries a possible sentence of up to life imprisonment in Oklahoma.
If you believe a child is being abused or neglected, reports can be made to the Oklahoma Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-522-3511. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Individuals can also contact their local law enforcement to make a report.