Fayetteville soldier, husband charged with daughter's murder

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Jamarkus Smith and Octavia Bennett-Smith (WTVD)

A Fayetteville soldier and her husband are now facing murder charges in the death of their 3-year-old daughter.

Sgt. Octavia Bennett-Smith, 27, and Jamarkus Smith, 26, were initially charged with felony child abuse when authorities found their daughter unresponsive on Dec. 1, 2015 on Regency Drive.

Authorities said the couple was responsible for the bruising injuries found on the toddler.

Read more about the case here.

Upon receiving the Medical Examiner's autopsy report, detectives ruled the death a homicide. Detectives served the warrant to Jamarkus Smith in the Cumberland County Detention Center, where he has remained on a $3 million bond since his initial arrest.

Jamarkus Smith is facing additional sex-abuse charges in the case. He has been charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a child and two counts of statutory sex offense. The latter carries maximum life sentences upon conviction. Now facing a first-degree murder charge, Jamarkus Smith is being held without bond.

Read more: Father charged in toddler's death could see more time

Bennett-Smith was arrested without incident at her residence, police said. She is being held at the Cumberland County Detention Center without bond.

Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West is awaiting the results of a case re-opened by Fayetteville police, in which the agency is taking a look at the death of the Smiths' second child. In 2014, the baby died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

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