10/21/09 — Father, 20, charged in death

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Father, 20, charged in death

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on October 21, 2009 1:46 PM

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Ronald Everette Smith

Goldsboro police on Tuesday arrested a man accused of abuse that caused the death of his 6-month-old daughter, a police spokesman said.

Ronald Everette Smith, 20, took Diamond Nicole Smith to Wayne Memorial Hospital the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 14, Sgt. Chad Calloway said.

Doctors at Wayne Mem-orial looked over Diamond's injuries and found unexplained bleeding in the brain and fractured ribs, leading them to call police.

Police later charged Smith, the child's father, with an open count of murder.

Smith was with the child's mother at the time the 6-month-old was dropped off at the hospital, Calloway said. Police have not released the mother's name, and have not indicated any charges would be filed against her.

Diamond was airlifted from Wayne Memorial Hospital to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville. She was pronounced dead on Friday, just after noon, authorities said.

Calloway described Smith as cooperative, and added he did not believe that the suspect was in hiding.

"He (Smith) has not given us any kind of run-around," Calloway said. "He's been cooperative."

However, police were not taking any chances that Smith might flee the area, the sergeant said.

"I'm not saying he wouldn't have (turned himself in)," Calloway said. "We didn't necessarily give him an opportunity."

"All I can say is he was cooperative, that's the best way I can put it," Calloway said.

The police sergeant said Smith did not yet have an attorney.

Police said their investigation determined that the mother was not physically present during the alleged abuse.

Calloway said police were also not ready to release a possible motive for the abuse.

Lee Ann Young is the lead investigator in the case.