Teenager Kills Sister, Attacks Toddler in Spotsylvania County

From WUSA 9 in Washington, D.C.: Teenager Kills Sister, Attacks Toddler:

A Spotsylvania County teenager is charged with raping and killing his older sister and attacking his two-year-old cousin.

Sheriff Howard Smith says the 16-year-old boy told deputies that he went to his sister’s bedroom early Monday and hit her with a sledgehammer.

Smith says the victim — 22-year-old Betsy Mary Smith — was baby-sitting her two cousins — a two-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy.

Smith says the teenager — whose name has not been released — told deputies that the little girl began crying and he hit her with the sledgehammer, then raped his older sister and locked the two children in the bedroom with her.

She was found dead there last night. Police say she’d been stabbed and beaten with a sledgehammer. The little girl suffered a
fractured skull and a broken nose. The one-year-old was not injured.

The sheriff says investigators have not determined a motive.

The boy is charged with first degree murder, rape and malicious wounding. He’s being held in the Rappahannock Juvenile Detention Center.

From NBC 4 in Washington, D.C.: Woman Dead, Child Injured In Sledgehammer Attack:

Police have charged a teen boy in a sledgehammer attack that left his sister dead and a child injured.

Deputies on Monday were investigating a possible child abuse case at a home in the 8200 block of Brock Road. They were trying to figure out how a 2-year-old girl suffered a fractured nose and skull. The girl’s mother took her to a hospital after discovering she was bleeding, News4‘s Pat Collins reported.

A detective was searching the home when he found a padlock on a bedroom door. A hammer was used to break the lock. Upon entering, the detective found 22-year-old Betsy Mary Smith dead on the floor.

Smith, who lived at the home, had been stabbed and beaten with a sledgehammer.

Police said Smith’s 16-year-old brother told a detective that he went into the bedroom to kill his sister and beat her with a sledgehammer. Police said the teen then hit the 2-year-old with the sledgehammer because she was crying. He then killed his sister, police said.

Police said the teen then raped his sister, left her on the bedroom floor and locked the door with the 2-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy inside. Sheriff Howard Smith said the victim was baby-sitting the children, who were her cousins.

Collins reported that the suspect let the children out of the locked room about 12 hours later after they started crying again, which is when her mother noticed she was bleeding. The 1-year-old was not injured.

The teen was charged with first-degree murder, rape and malicious wounding. He’s being held in the Rappahannock Juvenile Detention Center.

Officials at Spotsylvania High School said the suspect was a freshman there. Crisis counselors will be at the school on Wednesday.

The suspect’s parents said he has had problems with depression in the past but isn’t currently on any medication.

The sheriff said investigators have not determined a motive.

UPDATE: From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Teen charged in sister’s death:

A 16-year-old Spotsylvania County boy who is accused of raping and killing his older sister on Labor Day likely will be tried as an adult, a prosecutor said yesterday.

Walter Smith Jr. is charged with murder and rape in the death of his sister, and malicious wounding in the assault of a 2-year-old relative, Spotsylvania Commonwealth’s Attorney William F. Neely said.

Authorities found the body of Betsy Mary Smith, 22, in a locked bedroom Monday night. “It had a padlock on it,” Neely said.

The teen’s father either unlocked the padlock or somehow broke down the door for a detective, Neely said.

The detective had gone to the house because relatives of the brother and sister had brought a 2-year-old girl to a local hospital with a fractured skull, Neely said.

Smith initially told authorities that he killed his sister because she had hurt the little girl, Neely said, but the teen then gave a statement implicating himself.

Neely said Smith’s sister was attacked with a sledgehammer and then raped before she died.

“She was stabbed, she was smashed in the head with a hammer and she was sexually assaulted,” he said.

Neely said the woman’s body had been in the bedroom of the house in the 8200 block of Brock Road for about 20 hours when authorities responded around 8 p.m. Monday.

Smith had locked the little girl and a small boy in the same room with his sister, Neely said, but had let the two young children out after relatives asked about them.

Neely said Smith tried to commit suicide afterward and is being held without bond in the Rappahannock Juvenile Detention Center.

The teen is scheduled to appear this morning in Spotsylvania Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. He would be tried as an adult if a judge later finds probable cause to certify one or more charges to a grand jury.

5 Comments

  1. Dominick Halse says:

    The local newspapers are giving more details about this case. The Murder happened at one am, the two year old girl was discovered at 3 pm. The bedroom door that Betsy Smith and the children were in was padlocked from the outside. This means that the door was visibly locked. Betsy Smith was disabled and lived with her mother and father. It was known that she had two children in her care aged one and two. When is it an expectation that infants and toddlers sleep (or are perfectly silent) well into the afternoon? If a person is disabled to the point of being unable to work and being dependant upon her parents why would be alright to leave her locked in her room. The parents of Besty Smith should also face charges because they found the children and relocked the door with their dead daughter inside. The father acknowledges that he knew that Betsy was dead well before the police came. Betsy’s mother said she noticed that the two year old was bloody and accepted an answer about “running into a fuse box”. WHAT TWO YEAR OLD KNOWS ABOUT FUSE BOXES? The parents of the murdered Betsy Smith and her brother who murdered her, most likely could not have prevented the slaying but they allowed the body of their dead daughter to stay locked in a bedroom for twenty hours, fourteen of which were spent with an injured two year old and a helpless one year old. Isn’t this neglect? Neglect of their disabled daughter, neglect of their young grandchildren. It just doesn’t seem right that the Smith parents allowed the two young children to be left with a dead body for fourteen hours, for a toddler hit with a sledgehammer to be injured without care for fourteen hours! Also think of the psychological damage done to this fresh and impressionable young mind, don’t cry out because you will be beaten and have to watch someone you love die. All parties need to be held accountable.

  2. Cheryl Neely says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. There is so much about this case I don’t understand. How the body was left for more than 12 hours before being discovered, how the infants were left alone in the room with a disabled cousin to care for them, and where the heck the parents were when all this was happening???? Did you see the house? It didn’t look fit for dogs!

  3. californiaflame says:

    I just found out about this case accidentally via another crime blog, and it’s so strange to me that there is absolutely no other information about this out there on the web that I can find! Does anyone know what has happened or transpired since his arrest? Has anything further come out about the parents?? I agree with Dominick, the treatment of the toddlers after the murder is horrific, and the parents definitely need to be held accountable. I think there must have been more to this story than we heard.

  4. http://civilwar.fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2007/122007/12182007/341967 from December 18, 2007:

    Walter Smith Jr., 16, was indicted on a murder charge yesterday as well. The grand jury also brought charges of rape and malicious wounding.

    He was arrested in September after his 22-year-old sister, Betsy Mary Smith, was beaten with a sledgehammer and stabbed to death, then raped. The malicious wounding charge came after his 2-year-old niece was also found beaten in the head with a sledgehammer, fracturing her skull nine times.

    Online court records (accessible at http://courts.state.va.us/) states that his trial will begin on August 5, 2008.

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