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Brevard man sentenced to prison in death of 4-year-old

A 23-year-old Brevard man was sentenced to 23 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of a 4-year-old child in his care, District Attorney Greg Newman announced.


Keyshawn Trekell Smith, of 50 Greg’s Bluff Road, was indicted in 2018 for murder after the child died from trauma to his head.

A report was made to Transylvania County EMS on May 4, 2018, regarding a severely injured child at 50 Greg’s Bluff in Brevard. The Sheriff’s Department also responded and the child was transported to Mission Hospital where he later died from his injuries. The autopsy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the child’s head.

The defendant originally reported that the child, who was the son of the defendant’s girlfriend, climbed out of a window and fell several feet to the ground outside the house trailer. The defendant was babysitting three kids in the home while the mother was working. There was also a second adult male in the home at this time. Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office investigated the defendant’s story and determined that the evidence was inconsistent with his version of events. The State Bureau of Investigation performed a luminol test for body fluids and found traces of blood in the bathroom. Smith is the biological father to two of the children in the home, but is not the father of the victim.

“I authorized the plea to second degree murder in this case because no one could explain to me what actually happened inside the home to the child,” Newman said in a statement. “Even the other adult in the home gave very little clarity about what occurred to the child. What we know for certain is that the 4-year-old was being supervised by the defendant and, during this time, sustained injuries to his head. We still have questions about what actually occurred, but I believe the defendant is responsible for the injuries to the child and I believe this plea holds him responsible. The child’s mother is relieved that the case is not going to trial and she is very supportive of this outcome."