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Couple arrested following severe injury to their 4-month-old infant

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Timothy Smith, 22, and Emma Belle Smithey, 19, were arrested early this morning after their 4-month-old son was admitted to the hospital with injuries that may be life-threatening.

Smithey reportedly took the baby to the hospital on January 3 with “significant inflicted traumatic injuries,” including injuries to his body and face with one eye hemorrhaging, bleeding in the brain, bruising on various parts of his body, and blood in his diaper. Doctors told Gainesville Police Department that the infant will need to be stabilized before determining the full extent of his injuries, and it is currently unknown whether he will survive.

Smithey reportedly told several different versions of her story, including one where she said she was holding the infant and turned to go through a door, accidentally hitting his head on the door frame. However, she reportedly later told officers and investigators that she never said this, but she witnessed Smith accidentally bumping the infant’s head on the door frame. She said the incident happened on Sunday, January 1.

However, Smith, who was being interviewed separately, reportedly said the incident happened on Saturday while Smithey was at work. When asked about this, Smithey reportedly said she had lied to protect Smith; she said Smith had called her at work and told her he hit the baby and he was sorry. She reportedly said that when she went home to see what had happened, he told her he accidentally hit the infant’s head on a door frame.

Smithey reportedly told investigators that the baby had been lethargic and sometimes unresponsive since the incident; he didn’t eat much and threw up everything he ate; he had seizure-like episodes in which he would tense up and shake uncontrollably.

The couple, however, did not seek medical attention for the baby until Tuesday morning, after he had a seizure that lasted several minutes. Smithey reportedly told investigators that she didn’t know how to care for an infant with a head injury, so she only put ice around his head for a few minutes after the incident. She said she asked friends what to do, and they said to do nothing.

Post Miranda, Smith reportedly said that on Friday, the baby was abnormally fussy and wouldn’t stop crying and that he was exhausted and frustrated that he couldn’t console the baby. He said he held the baby to his chest, squeezing tightly around the baby’s neck and holding the baby’s mouth against his chest until he stopped crying loudly. Smith reportedly said the bruising around the baby’s neck was probably caused by the squeezing. He reportedly said he was also shaking the baby against his chest and believed it could have been too forceful.

Smith reportedly said that later that night, the baby was again crying uncontrollably, and he was frustrated. He said he intentionally “dropped” the baby into his bassinet and believed his back might have hit a bottle lying in the bassinet. Smith reportedly said he was up all night on Friday night with the baby and barely slept before Smithey left for work Saturday morning. After the baby woke up crying at about 8:30 a.m., he allegedly picked the baby up from the bassinet and turned his body with such force that he “slammed” the baby’s head into the door frame. He reportedly said he did not intentionally injure the baby but was focused on getting the baby to stop crying.

The investigation determined that the lack of medical care from the time of the incident on Saturday to bringing the baby to the hospital on Tuesday contributed to the current condition of the infant.

Smith has been charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect of a child with great bodily harm. He has no local criminal history. Judge Susan Miller-Jones set bail at $100,000.

Smithey has been charged with neglect of a child with great bodily harm. She has no local criminal history. Judge Miller-Jones set bail at $50,000.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • They should just skip jail and a trial and just go straight to prison. For life. Do not skip Go, do not collect $200.

  • I know what should be “fixed” so this grievous act against a child in their care has minimal chance of occuring again.

    “Better for a millstone…”

  • Two monsters who don’t have a clue about raising a child. Should have just given this child up for adoption at the hospital. Obviously, neither one of them were mature enough to handle the responsibility. Both of them are disgusting human beings.

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