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Autopsy: Fayetteville girl died from malnutrition, abuse

Posted April 25

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— A 3-year-old Fayetteville girl died of pneumonia after suffering malnutrition, neglect and sexual abuse, according to an autopsy report released Monday.

Jourdin A'Legacy Smith died at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center after authorities received a report of an unresponsive child at 520 Regency Drive on Dec. 1, 2015.

Her parents, Jamarkus Meshawn Smith, 26, and Octavia Bennett-Smith, 27, were charged with first-degree murder after detectives received the girl's autopsy report from the medical examiner, which ruled the death as a homicide, officials said. Smith was already in custody under a $3 million bond, and Bennett-Smith was arrested at her residence and is being held without bond.

Jamarkus Smith was previously charged with two counts of first-degree statutory sexual offense, two counts of indecent liberties with a child and felony child abuse, according to previous reports. 

The couple’s arrest prompted police to review a child death investigation from February 2014 that occurred at the home and involved the same parents. That death was initially ruled to be a case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

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  • David Collins Apr 28, 6:46 p.m.
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    Where is BLM?

  • Kathy McDaniel Apr 26, 9:04 a.m.
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    I hope these two scumbags die in the population of prison. Some of the inmates will not tolerate people like this in prison. I hope they get it and suffer.

  • Maureen Mercer Apr 25, 6:33 p.m.
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    Hope they die in prison.

  • Janet Ghumri Apr 25, 6:30 p.m.
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    There is no place low enough for these two disgusting pieces of filth.
    Just thinking about what that child went through in her short little lifetime makes me sick. Starvation, physical abuse and sexual abuse at the hands of the two adults closest to her. I'm glad they are looking into the other child's death, hopefully there will be some justice there as well.
    What I'm wondering is how they got away with it for so long? How could anyone not realize what they were doing to her? Was there no family or neighbors that ever saw her? It's so awful, but at least she isn't suffering anymore. God rest their little souls.