Bad & Ugly: Toddler's Death Is Murder (Update x 2)

This is a discussion on Bad & Ugly: Toddler's Death Is Murder (Update x 2) within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Some will recall when I first posted this back in March, some naysayers felt that no foul play or negligence was involved. Now it appears ...

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Thread: Bad & Ugly: Toddler's Death Is Murder (Update x 2)

  1. #1
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    Bad & Ugly: Toddler's Death Is Murder (Update x 2)

    Some will recall when I first posted this back in March, some naysayers felt that no foul play or negligence was involved. Now it appears that the exact opposite is true, and the suspect has been charged with deliberate homicide.

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...th-update.html

    Updated story:

    Man charged with murder in tot’s death
    Posted: Friday, May 02, 2008 - 12:07:48 am MDT
    By NICHOLAS LEDDEN/Daily Inter Lake

    Prosecutors have upped the charge to murder against an Evergreen man implicated in the May 5 shooting death of a 19-month-old child.

    Dwayne Scott Smail, 23, pleaded innocent Thursday in Flathead County District Court to the amended charge of deliberate homicide.

    The charge was increased Wednesday from negligent homicide to deliberate homicide after prosecutors determined physical evidence at the scene failed to support Smail’s claim that the shooting was an accident.

    “The story he originally provided to police doesn’t, in our opinion, match the physical evidence,” Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan said. “Absent of an explanation that does match the physical evidence, we intend to proceed forward with deliberate homicide charges.”


    According to court documents, Smail told investigators he had placed the 9 mm Ruger pistol on an exposed portion of his bed’s box spring before going to sleep and awoke to find 19-month-old Korbyn Eva May Williams tapping him on the shoulder, holding the handgun.

    The gun discharged when he went to grab it from the toddler, he told detectives.

    But physical evidence at the scene indicates Smail and Korbyn were three or more feet apart when the gun discharged, prosecutors charge.

    A forensic investigation at the state crime lab in Missoula determined Smail had the gun when it fired. The absence of gunpowder residue on Korbyn’s clothes suggests she could not have both held the gun and fired it, investigators found.

    In addition, blood-spatter analysis conducted by specialists from MicroVision Forensics and the Washington state crime lab placed Korbyn in a sitting position facing west near the room’s north wall when she was shot. Smail was determined to be near the southwest corner of the bed.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Here's hoping there's a special place in Hell for someone who deliberately kills a young child.

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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
    Here's hoping there's a special place in Hell for someone who deliberately kills a young child.

    +1
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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    I've been following this case locally. It's not getting much attention which is really sad. There is really no punishment suitable for the guy.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Quote Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
    Here's hoping there's a special place in Hell for someone who deliberately kills a young child.
    There is... Jesus said it was better to have a mill stone(massive rock wieghing Tons) hung around your neck then to mess with kids. As well there is good biblical support that small children, infants, mentally disabled, go straight to the presence of the Father when they die(in this case are murdered) That gives me some solace when I read of crimes like this. Tragic.
    In God we trust, everyone else keep your hands where I can see them.

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    Just to play devil's advocate.... I'm unimpressed by the "forensic" evidence and the initial story is still plausible.

    For those who follow this in the local press, has anything at all been said about motive?

    It would take a rare bird, or a strong motive, to deliberately murder a kid.
    OTOH, seeing a gun in the kid's hand and grabbing for it, might make sense and could lead to unclear forensics---because everyone was in motion; the kid probably pulled back as the man sat up and grabbed at the weapon.

    I don't think it is possible to know the truth in this situation. A jury will try to sort it out. Maybe they will get it right, maybe they won't.

    Also, I'd want to know a lot about the alleged perp's overall history. Priors for violence or not? Steady job or not? Drug use or alcoholuse, or not? Schizo or manic, or not?

    It is easy for a DA to charge a crime and let the jury sort it out. Some do, some don't.

    It's a bit like the medieval practice of coldly giving the death penalty certain in the belief that there is an afterlife and G-d will sort it out and make it right even if man makes a mistake.

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Even if it happened as the gun owner described, that's more than likely Negligent Homicide here.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    From the beginning the proposed reasoning toward this made no sense at all (original news report int he original thread).
    Again a 20 mo. old child is not going to have the hand strength to hold a pistol and pull the trigger as a combinative effort muchless even the finger strength to pull a normal average trigger, without help in doing so.

    Further all that does not matter.
    There was a child in the home and this _moron_ was leaving his gun around and anywhere for the child to access...and per the mother in a previous report had in fact done so! Hello that right there is a clue to get rid of the boyfriend, and to protect your child...mom!
    Geebus. :(


    Hopyard - Did you read this part of the statement...

    ...The absence of gunpowder residue on Korbyn’s clothes suggests she could not have both held the gun and fired it...
    Even if in your proposed scenario the child had stepped back upon the gun grab effort and the gun went off at that point, which itself is a major leap, there would still be GSR on her hands and clothing and face too. It's inescapable to that end.
    That's not to mention blood splatter patterning and other physical evidence.

    Dude is guilty as sin.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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    Sounds like the guy accidently shot her then tried to cover it up. He more then likely was playing with the gun.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    I could buy that PGrass aside from the she was holding it and it went off by accident upon a lurch theory.
    But the the thing is there are no accidental discharges, just those of negligence...especially one where the bore is pointed directly at that of a human being, a child at that.

    Proving it's murder one/first degree versus negligent homicide would require interview of others toward the shooters statements and position toward the child prior.
    Either way though in the end he murdered her whether it by by negligence or with purposeful and malicious intent.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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    Janq,

    I didn't say the gun accidently went off, but that he accidently shoot her.

    He didn't mean to shot her, he did mean to play or mishandle the gun.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Ohhh...okay got ya.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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