Father given lengthy prison term for daughter’s death

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — Having pleaded guilty to the lesser of two murder charges, a 23-year-old Taylor man was sentenced Tuesday to 28 to 60 years in prison for the death of his infant daughter.

Luis Marcos Smolen was sentenced last week by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny after pleading guilty earlier this month to second-degree murder for the December 2013 death of six-week-old Payton.

According to court records, on Sept. 5 Kenny accepted Smolen’s plea and dismissed two counts originally charged that had been expected to be heard in trial next month — felony murder and first-degree child abuse. The penalty for felony murder is up to life in prison.

Police had taken Smolen into custody shortly after responding to calls from the 15000 block of Park Village which reported a baby who wasn’t breathing. Payton was transported to a hospital where she was pronounced dead that afternoon.

Police Chief Mary Sclabassi reported at the time that the child appeared to have been beaten, and Smolen had admitted to losing his temper with the crying infant.

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