The man charged with squeezing his five-week old son to death in August will be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison Friday.
Robert Smith Sr., 28, was initially charged with first-degree felony murder for the death of his five-month-old son Robert Smith Jr. In exchange for pleading guilty to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, prosecutors offered a 30-year maximum sentence.
According to court documents, Smith Sr. initially denied causing his son’s death, but later told police “I did it.” He told the detective that he squeezed the child to stop him from crying and that he has done this multiple times before.
“Like you squeeze a roll of toothpaste,” Smith Sr. said.
According to Smith, he “compressed the child’s body” at around 7:30 a.m. the morning the child died, and bent his body backwards “like a whiplash” when he was frustrated and running out of options to calm the child. Smith said he had squeezed the child times before.
Smith also told the detective that his son’s mother “has this idea that ‘I’m a great guy,” but described himself as “a monster.”
The Chief Medical Examiner for the District of Columbia conducted an autopsy that found multiple old injuries on the baby’s body, as well as fractures to the child’s ribs and hyperextensions of his spine. Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Mehdee Koolaee, said that these types of injuries are “inflicted injuries” and could not be caused by CPR.