Man Accused Of Murdering Infant Found Guilty, Sentenced To Life

By: Alicia Turner, Lanetra Bennett, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, James Buechele Email
By: Alicia Turner, Lanetra Bennett, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, James Buechele Email
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UPDATE: Alicia Turner
April 16, 2015

CAIRO, Ga.-- There were strong emotions on both sides, as a sentence came down for Marcus Smiley

"They have given him life without parole. No, that is not fair, and it hurt me dearly," said Smiley's uncle, as he wiped away tears.

Smiley was convicted of killing one baby and severely beating another.

"Justice was served. If he did it then they had to do what they had to do."

A life sentence without parole was the verdict Thursday morning; as 31-year-old Marcus Smiley stood before a judge in a Grady county court room. Smiley was convicted in March of murder in the death of a 3-month-old in 2013. He was also found guilty of seriously injuring a 7-month-old a few months earlier.

"Marcus Smiley Jr., was the boyfriend of the mothers of these children, and they lived just a few houses down from each other. We kind of pieced that all together and we figured that Marcus obviously had done both," said Steve Turner of the GBI.

Delilah Johnson told Eyewitness News no matter how you look at it; this was a terrible situation.

"My heart is truly with her because she did lose a child. She just has memories now, and my heart is with him because now he's facing life in prison," Johnson said.

"I never thought in a million years that he would be locked up for something like this," said Smiley's cousin.

The GBI explained that this case was hard from the beginning and the victims in the case are scarred for life.

"You can't ever get the children back. The one child, the eight month old that was injured back in June of 2013; they're going to be living with brain trauma, and brain damage all of their life. Their life will be tough from now on, what's justice for that, I don't know that I can say that," Turner said.

In addition life to without parole for murder, Smiley was given the maximum sentence of 80 years for four other counts.

UPDATE: Lanetra Bennett
March 18, 2015

CAIRO, Ga. -- The district attorney tells Eyewitness News that Marcus Smiley was found guilty in court today.

His sentencing is April 16th.

UPDATED 10:45 p.m.

Wednesday morning the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Marcus Smiley Jr., 29, of Cairo, Georgia.

The arrest stems from the death of 3-month-old Mia Williams back in October. Smiley faces charges of malice murder, aggravated battery and cruelty to children.

GBI agent Steve Turner says Smiley faces an additional count of battery and another count of cruelty to children in a different case from June involving a 7-month-old boy. The infant recovered from his injuries.

Agent Turner says cases like these ones in Cairo Georgia are hard to solve because toddler's can't actually say what happened to them.

"We call it a 'whodunit' homicide," said Turner. When you have find a dead body for example, that dead body can't talk to you. Either you gotta piece the evidence together to find out who's connected to the individual."

Jami Lewis represents the mother of the boy who was allegedly abused by Smiley.

"I was very pleased to hear that Mr. Smiley had been arrested in the case," said Lewis. "This was something that my client had been wanting to happen all along since this incident occurred back in June."

News Release: Georgia Bureau of Investigation

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Cairo Police Department and Grady County Sheriff’s Office arrested Marcus Smiley, Jr., 29 of Cairo, on November 13, 2013 on Harlem Drive at approximately 11:25 am.

Smiley is charged with the October 3rd death of 3-month-old, Mia Williams of Cairo, and charged with Malice Murder, Aggravated Battery and Cruelty to Children.

Smiley is also charged with Aggravated Battery and Cruelty to Children for injuries that a 7-month-old sustained on June 17, 2013.

That child was treated at Archbold Medical Center and Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

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