FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – More than five years after the death of his 3-year-old daughter, a Fayetteville man is being tried for her murder. Jury selection started Monday in the first-degree murder case against Jamarkus Smith.
The child’s mother, a former Army sergeant, has already pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
Fayetteville police responded to a home on Regency Drive around 9:15 a.m. on Dec. 1, 2015, after a call reporting an unresponsive child.
Jourdin, 3, was found unresponsive and transported to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for treatment. Smith initially told police his daughter was playing on a chair and fell. His wife Octavia called 911 and said her husband told her their child was having a hard time breathing.
“What did you do? What did you do? Don’t do this to me. He knows I love my child. I don’t know, but he’s in there saying you’re trying to blame me. I don’t know what’s wrong with my child. I was at work,” Octavia Smith told the 911 dispatcher.
According to the Fayetteville Police Department, the criminal investigation revealed the child suffered the injuries at the hands of Jamarkus Smith. Some of those injuries are related to sexual abuse, according to court documents.
The medical examiner found the 3-year-old to be just 28 pounds when she died.
Octavia Smith pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury, and felony child abuse in Dec. 2019.