Cairo man found guilty in death of baby, abuse of another
A Cairo man will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars after a Grady County jury decided last week he was guilty in the 2013 death of one baby and the abuse of another baby.
The trial of Marcus Bernard Smiley, 31, was the only jury trial to take place during the March term of Superior Court in Grady County last week. District Attorney Joe Mulholland prosecuted the case, which began on Monday, March 16. The jury returned its guilty verdict in the morning of Wednesday, March 19.
The jury ruled Smiley was guilty of one count of malice murder, one count of felony murder, two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree, and two counts of aggravated battery. According to Mulholland, “malice murder carries a mandatory life sentence.”
The two victims were 3-month-old Mia Williams who died of head injuries on Oct. 3, 2013, and a 7-month-old who was treated for a head injury June 17, 2013. The mothers of both children had been Smiley’s girlfriend at the time of the abuse. Smiley was unrelated to either child.
Mulholland says the severe physical abuse, in addition to resulting in baby Mia’s death, caused permanent brain injury for the 7-month-old.
GBI agents Lindsay H. Marchant and Kristen Perry worked with investigators from the Cairo Police Department, physicians and personnel from the Department of Family and Children Services to investigate the case.
“Evidence and testimony presented during the trial showed that Mr. Smiley did maliciously cause cruel, excessive, physical pain by inflicting blunt force head trauma resulting in multiple skull fractures and hemorrhaging of the muscles between the babies’ ribs,” Mulholland says.
The district attorney praised the jury for their diligence and attentiveness. He says, “It was very clear how serious they took their duty during the course of the trial. I would be remiss if I didn’t give my thanks to the brave mothers of these innocent children who testified against the defendant. They were forced to relive these injuries to their babies in front of a courtroom of strangers. Through it all they handled themselves with grace. I pray for them and their families and hope that they can sleep easier knowing that this monster will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.”
Smiley is scheduled to go before Judge A. Wallace Cato on April 16 for sentencing.