HAYWARD, Wis. (TCD) -- A 26-year-old mother and her boyfriend are facing murder and other charges after her 4-year-old special needs daughter died last year.
According to Sawyer County Court records, the child’s mother, Samantha Smith, is charged with chronic neglect of a child (consequence is death) and physical abuse of a child, repeated acts causing great bodily harm. Her boyfriend, 25-year-old Domenic Falkner, was booked on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, physical abuse of a child, and chronic neglect of a child (consequence is death).
KBJR-TV, which cites court documents, reports emergency medical responders were dispatched to a home on West 2nd Street in Hayward on July 28, 2021, after receiving a call that a 4-year-old girl did not wake up. The little girl was declared dead.
The Sawyer County Coroner reportedly took a sample of the girl’s blood. The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene said the girl’s blood alcohol level was .572g/100mL when she died. KBJR reports her cause of death was acute ethanol toxicity, and the manner of death was deemed homicide.
The little girl reportedly suffered from cerebral palsy and was non-verbal. She had a special wheelchair and was fed through a tube, according to the Dryden Wire.
The Dryden Wire reports the Medical Examiner’s Office wrote in the findings, "The presence of ethanol in a non-ambulatory child is consistent with intentional administration by another. The level of ethanol found in her pre-embalmed body would be a lethal level in non-chronic users and be lethal in a child this age."
The Medical Examiner’s Office also cited "abrasions, contusions, and healing fractures" on the girl’s body that were “concerning for non-accidental trauma."
The Dryden Wire reports the girl never had broken bones before Falkner moved in with Smith in August 2020. After that, however, the victim suffered from broken bones, fractures, and bruising.
Court records show Falkner is being held on $2 million bond, while Smith’s is set at $1 million.