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Murder charges filed against mother of dead toddler

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BATON ROUGE - Police filed upgraded murder charges Wednesday against a Baton Rouge mother who investigators said slammed her toddler's head against a wall and killed her.

Police said Candice Smith faces first degree murder charges for the death of 2-year-old Da'Laijha Smith. She was originally arrested on second degree cruelty charges on Dec. 29.

Police said they were called to the family's home on Beechwood Street Monday night for reports of an unresponsive child. Investigators said Smith had pushed her daughter hard enough to smash her head against a shower wall, and they found other evidence of abuse on the girl's body.

EBR Coroner Beau Clark released results of an autopsy Wednesday which ruled the child's death was due to homicide. The coroner said the toddler died from blunt force injuries to her abdomen, thorax, head and neck. He also said his autopsy found her ribs had been broken, and that she had numerous cuts and bruises on her arms and legs.


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