Life sentence possible in infant’s death

Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — A 23-year-old man faces a possible life sentence if convicted of felony murder charges in the death of his six-week-old daughter.

Luis Marcos Smolen was arraigned last week before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Linda V. Parker on charges stemming from the December death of his daughter, Payton, who suffered head trauma and injuries on her body.

Preliminary exams of the evidence against him before 23rd District Court Judge Geno Salomone that had been scheduled for December were adjourned until last month, awaiting both attorney availability and additional medical reports.

Smolen also had been bound over on assault charges, and remained in custody without bond.

A pre-trial conference was scheduled for Friday in Wayne County Circuit Court, and subsequent court dates had yet to be determined.

On Dec. 7, police responded to calls from the 15000 block of Park Village, where the infant was reported not breathing. Investigators said the child had been beaten, and she died soon after in the hospital.

Payton’s mother and a 1-year-old sibling were also in the home, according to police, who referred the matter to Child Protective Services for a separate, independent investigation.

(James Mitchell can be reached at