ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - A man convicted of killing his two-month-old baby girl by violently shaking her, squeezing her, and slamming her head against a hard surface will remain in prison for life under a unanimous decision by the Georgia Supreme Court.
Deonte T'varis Smith has now lost his appeal of his convictions for murder and child cruelty that he received in Decatur County for killing his daughter, Keymaya Smith, in 2012.
"[W]e have reviewed the record and conclude that, when viewed in the light most favorable to the verdicts, the evidence presented at trial…was sufficient to authorize a rational jury to find Appellant [Smith] guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of felony murder," the opinion says.
The baby was taken to the hospital, and then transferred to Tallahassee. Keymaya was treated by a neonatologist who, through a CT scan of the baby's head, found multiple areas of hemorrhaging, signs of brain death, and "tremendous injury" to her head that could not have been caused by being dropped or falling from a bed or chair, as the defense later suggested. Keymaya was pronounced dead the next night.
"Considering the trial record as a whole, we conclude that it is highly probable that any erroneous evidentiary ruling by the trial court with regard to Appellant's tattoos did not contribute to the jury's verdict."
In conclusion, the high court has ruled that Smith is not entitled to a new trial and the judgment against him is affirmed.
Smith's attorney was Ronald Parker. Attorneys for for the State were Joseph Mulholland, District Attorney, Samuel Olens, Attorney General, Beth Burton, Dep. A.G., Paula Smith, Sr. Asst. A.G., Elizabeth Haase, Asst. A.G.