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Man faces 1st-degree murder charge in death of Tampa infant, police say

A witness told detectives that Terin Smith, 28, hit the 1-year-old child because the infant was “whiny,” according to the Tampa Police Department.
Terin Smith, 28, faces a charge of first-degree murder while engaged in aggravated child abuse in connection to the death of a 1-year-old in Tampa on Aug. 1, the Tampa Police Department says.
Terin Smith, 28, faces a charge of first-degree murder while engaged in aggravated child abuse in connection to the death of a 1-year-old in Tampa on Aug. 1, the Tampa Police Department says. [ Photo provided / Tampa Police Department ]
Published Aug. 23|Updated Aug. 24

A 28-year-old man has been arrested in the death of a 1-year-old child, according to the Tampa Police Department.

Officers were called to an apartment on the 6700 block of Woodville Street shortly before 3 p.m. on Aug. 1 in response to a child who was not breathing, the department said in a news release Tuesday evening. The infant was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and later pronounced dead.

Detectives investigating the child’s death were told the infant’s mother had left her child with Terin Smith while she was at work, according to the release. Smith lived in the same home as the infant at the time.

A witness told detectives that while Smith was giving the child a bath, he hit the infant for being “whiny,” according to the Police Department. After the bath, Smith put the 1-year-old in a crib.

Other children in the home later found the infant unresponsive and took them to a neighbor’s home for help, the release said.

Authorities were notified, and by the time officers arrived Smith had left on foot, police said.

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy, which found that the infant had apparent injuries to the head and abdomen, according to the release.

Smith was arrested Sunday in Clarksville, Tennessee. He faces a charge of first-degree murder “while engaged in aggravated child abuse,” the release said.

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