Exam delayed for suspect in Taylor infant’s death

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — Evidence against a man charged in the beating death of his six-week-old daughter will wait until next year after a preliminary exam was adjourned last week.

Luis Marcos Smolen, 23, appeared before 23rd District Court Judge Geno Salomone Monday for a scheduled examination of the evidence. Smolen was arraigned Dec. 10 on charges of first-degree felony murder and first degree child abuse, and faces life in prison if convicted of murder.

Salomone noted that discovery in the matter continued and that neither the defense attorney nor lead prosecutor were in court Tuesday. The exam was adjourned until Jan. 13.

Police and prosecutors said that six-week-old Payton Smolen died Dec. 1 after suffering severe head trauma and multiple injuries. Police responded that morning to a call from the 15000 block of Park Village, where an infant was reported not breathing.

Police Chief Mary Sclabassi said it appeared the baby had been beaten, and she was taken to the hospital. She was pronounced dead at 4:45 p.m.

The baby’s mother and a 1-year-old sibling were reportedly also in the home. Sclabassi said police made a referral to Child Protective Services, which will conduct an independent investigation.

Salomone said Smolen was entitled to a preliminary exam within 14 days of the arraignment, but the defendant and counsel agreed to the postponment.

Smolen remained in custody without bond.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

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