Grand jury indicts mother in murder of toddler - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Grand jury indicts mother in murder of toddler

Candice Smith (Source: EBRSO) Candice Smith (Source: EBRSO)
De'Laijah Smith (Source: Facebook) De'Laijah Smith (Source: Facebook)

Officials say a 21-year-old woman has been indicted by a grand jury on a second degree murder charge for the death of her 2-year-old daughter.

The Baton Rouge Police Department arrested Candice Shanee Smith on Dec. 30, 2014 and initially charged her with second-degree cruelty to juveniles. She allegedly admitted to "forcefully pushing" her daughter, Da'Laijah Smith, causing her death.

EMS was called to a home on Beachwood Drive on Dec. 29, and they found Da'Laijah unresponsive. The child was rushed to the hospital where she later died as a result of traumatic injuries.

When questioned by police, Smith allegedly admitted to pushing the child, causing her to fall and strike her head against a shower wall.

"Smith also admitted to other multiple acts of physical abuse," said Cpl. Don Coppola. "Investigators observed Da'Laijah to have multiple signs of bruising and fingernail marks to her extremities."

The autopsy showed the child suffered blunt force injuries of the stomach, throat, head and neck with rib fractures. Dr. William "Beau" Clark also noted there were abrasions and bruises on the victim's arms and legs.

Dr. Clark classified the death of the 2-year-old as a homicide.

After the toddler's death was ruled a homicide, Smith's charges were upgraded to first degree murder.

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