A 33-year-old Zachary man has been indicted by an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury on second-degree murder and cruelty charges in the horrific October slaying of his 11-month-old son who was shot, stabbed and beaten.
Fabian Smith, of 3430 Hancock St., faces a mandatory term of life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of Jericho Smith. He was originally arrested and booked on a count of first-degree murder, which could have carried a possible death sentence.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Thursday that his office has reviewed the reports submitted thus far and discussed the case with the child's mother.
Update, Oct. 16: The autopsy of 11-month-old Jericho Smith determined the baby died of multiple gunshot wounds, stab wounds and blunt force in…
"Although the alleged facts fit statutorily with first degree murder, and first degree murder would be an appropriate charge, based on our review and our discussions we choose to proceed with second degree murder, which carries a life sentence," Moore said in an email.
"Should additional evidence come to our attention we will reconsider," he added. "We hope to try this case as expeditiously as possible."
The case is assigned to state District Judge Bonnie Jackson.
A Zachary detective testified at a November bail hearing in Jackson's courtroom that the infant had gunshot residue around his face when police found him in the master bedroom of his father's home. He had been shot in the head and neck.
An 11-month-old Zachary boy allegedly shot, stabbed and beaten to death by his father in October had gunshot residue on his head when police f…
Gunshot residue on the skin is an indication that a gun was fired at close range.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office concluded the baby died of multiple gunshot and stab wounds and blunt force injuries. Investigators found a gun and knife inside the home, authorities have said.
Smith, who was at his Hancock Street home when police arrived, told a neighbor, "I messed up, I messed up, I messed up," Enoch Sims, the lead Zachary police detective in the homicide investigation, testified Nov. 30. The detective also said Jericho's 2-year-old sibling told him, "My daddy killed the baby!"
The grandmother of 11-month-old Jericho Smith, who was found and stabbed to death last Saturday in Zachary, called the child's death "unbelievable."
A search warrant affidavit filed in the case indicates detectives believe Smith could have been under the influence of "some type of substance" due to "Smith stating numerous times that he could not remember what happened and the last thing that he could recall was picking up food from Burger King for the children."
Sims said Smith was the only adult at the house at the time.
Jericho's mother, Iesha Tolbert, was at work at the time of his death Oct. 14. Tolbert has said she never imagined her husband could commit such a brutal act. She called Jericho her "boy angel" and said he seldom cried and often "brightened up the room with his smile."
ZACHARY — Two days after the death of her 11-month-old son, Iesha Tolbert tries to recall happy memories of his “pretty smile” as she comes to…
Zachary Police Chief David McDavid has said witnessing the aftermath "broke the hearts" of first responders and law enforcement officials.