Local News

Raleigh man found guilty in toddler's death

Posted February 27, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— A Raleigh man found guilty in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old son last year will spend the rest of his life in jail.

A jury on Friday convicted DonJuan Cassadary Smith Jr., 25, of first-degree murder in the May 14 death of Charvis "Junior" Dublin Jr.

Charvis Dublin Jr. Jury sentences man to life in toddler's death

An autopsy found that Dublin died from blunt force trauma and had 41 bruises on his body.

Smith, who admitted in court this week that he is a member of a local gang, testified he left the boy in a bathtub full of water while he went to make a marijuana deal.

He originally told investigators that when he returned, he thought the child had drowned. During the trial, he said he believes that someone else killed Dublin and that his gang involvement might have been a factor.

"The defendant got on (the witness stand) and said he did not do it," defense attorney George Kelly said. "I felt he probably needed to do that – to tell the jury he did not do it, or he didn't have a chance to begin with."

Dublin was not breathing when Smith took him to a neighbor's house to call 911. In that call, Smith told dispatchers that he had given the child some pizza and gave him a bath when he started throwing up.

The neighbor performed CPR until emergency personnel arrived at her home. Dublin was pronounced dead a short time later.

Dublin's father, Charvis Dublin Sr., said he thought Smith's sentence should have been harsher.

"I'm not pleased with life," he said. "I think he should die."

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Janssen said there were no aggravating factors that would have allowed the state to seek the death penalty.

With the trial now behind them, family members say they will hold onto their memories of the boy.

"He was a happy baby. He smiled all the time. Nothing got him upset," his aunt, Lashawnta Campbell, said. "He was always happy and joyful."


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  • bonnnie Feb 27, 2009

    I think he should have got what he gave. How is there any justice when he gets life? His victim got death and such a young one at that.

  • RainierBeer Feb 27, 2009

    Glad he at least will spend the rest of his lousy life prison. Where's his Bloods buddies now? Shoulda got the the death penalty. Oops, I forgot, it's now inhumane to put people to death for their crimes. We just have to pay, and pay and pay to feed house and cloth them forever.

  • airbornemonty Feb 27, 2009

    I'm afraid that some women have a greater need for the security of a man than for the welfare of their children.
    In other words, they need the presence of a man in their life more than they need their children.

  • ccsloop Feb 27, 2009

    Poor little one, may he find a better place than this life was.

  • Free-Man82nd Feb 27, 2009

    The Men in prison are going to love this guy, Gang banger or not even prison has dues and don't crimes.

  • garden Feb 27, 2009

    Well for those of you who wish he had gotten the death sentence he will too after the inmates at the prison get a hold of him. Can't wait til he opens his stupid mouth to brag about belonging to a gang. The inmates will take care of this piece of garbage. The guards will look the other way. Oh yeah, he's gonna wish he were dead.

  • pebbles262004 Feb 27, 2009

    This is a sad story.. I feel for the little boy there was no telling what was going through his little head all those times he was beaten. And you know the mom knew that this was going on . who knows she might have been the one to beat him

  • raysson Feb 27, 2009

    This guy needs to sentenced to life,and I'm glad he deserve it. Nobody in there right state of mind,not even a parent would leave there child with a unexcused person of a cousin,who didn't have the common sense to call for help when this child was very sick. Didn't have enough money on his phone? Unexcusable. Over a Little Wayne CD?
    Unexcusable. What was this mother thinking of? Knowing this guy wasn't even fit to babysit a toddler. No sense. No sense at all. This clown thought a crack rock was better than a human life.

  • teacher-mom Feb 27, 2009

    I was disgusted when I read a previous article about this. He did not even call the boy's mom because he only had 7 minutes on his phone. He was able to buy $500 worth of pot. Nothing can bring this child back; he might be better off. My sympathy to the family and loved ones. This man should have gotten the death penalty. Our society needs to wake up. There is no substitute for a family. It takes two to make a baby and it takes two to raise one.

  • mys1983 Feb 27, 2009

    That poor baby..I'm glad he is in a better place. But the mother should have known better...and the man... I pray that he will see the error of his ways and prays for forgiveness