911 tapes released in toddler murder case

May 17, 2008 7:59:18 AM PDT
Police released the 911 tapes in the case of a murderd Raleigh toddler.

The emergency call was made from a building at the Walnut Ridge Apartments Wednesday night.

A caller told the operator, "I need an ambulance right away because there's a little boy here, um, I don't think he's breathing."

The caller went on to say a man, believed to be DonJuan Smith, brought the baby to the door of her apartment.

According to court records, Smith lived one floor below.

The female caller then handed the phone to the man, presumably Smith. The operator asked him what happened to the 2-year-old boy.

"I gave him some pizza," the man said. "I gave him a bath. After the bath, uh, he started throwing up so I figured it was the pizza."

According to another woman who spoke during the 911 call, the toddler was not responding when he was brought to the apartment.

"Sir, I think this baby is dead," the unidentified woman said.

"Okay," the operator said. "Listen to me m'am. Place your hand on his forehead."

The woman followed instructions for CPR, but the toddler reportedly never regained consciousness.

The suspect, 24-year-old Smith, made a court appearance Friday to face a first-degree murder charge.

"If you are convicted of this, you could receive life in prison without parole or the death penalty," Wake County District Court Judge Shelley DesVouges told Smith.

Residents of the apartment complex were stunned by the crime.

"I'm just really heartbroken," neighbor Katrina Bell said. "Everybody is really torn up."

Bell said she is was acquainted with Smith and the children but not with their mother. In fact, she just found out Smith was the mother's boyfriend and not the father of the children.

"You would see them out and about," Bell said. "You never would suspect that something was going on as far as him and the child. He really looked like he was the child's biological father."

Police have not yet released the name of the toddler. Smith remains behind bars with no bond.


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