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Man charged with murder in 2-year-old's death

Published: Nov. 24, 2017 at 7:14 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 25, 2017 at 8:04 PM EST
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Erin Smith-Spencer (Source: LMDC)
Erin Smith-Spencer (Source: LMDC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A woman's boyfriend has been charged with murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter.

"You don't beat a baby," the mother's neighbor, Kelly Brown, told WAVE 3 News.

Detectives got to the mother's apartment on Springfield Drive Wednesday morning. The baby was already dead, police said.

The suspect, Erin Smith-Spencer, told them he'd disciplined the baby two days before, on Monday at 4 a.m. Police had to wait until the autopsy was performed to charge Smith-Spencer with murder.

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The baby's mother, Tabitha Harris, told detectives she'd been beaten up by her boyfriend too. The report didn't state where she was from the time the baby was hurt until police were called.

"I just hope and pray to God that she had nothing to do with it," Harris's aunt, Lisa Rodriguez, said.

Rodriguez said at first they thought it was an accident, until the arrest.

The coroner's office ruled the two-year-old girl died of blunt force trauma.

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"The baby's grandpa got on and he says 'I'm not kidding about something like this, this is really happening'," Rodriguez recalled.

The suspect already had an arrest warrant from an allegation in March for breaking into Harris's apartment and stealing her stuff.

Smith-Spencer had another address listed in the records. WAVE 3 News went there looking for someone to talk to, but no one came to the door.

"You just wish that you would have seen a sign or heard something, or had something to notify somebody to tell them to come," Brown said.

Brown left a giant teddy at his neighbor's door. He's a father too and hopes whoever is responsible gets what they deserve.

"A special place in hell to be honest with you," he said. "It just breaks your heart, it really does."

Police are still investigating. LMPD is following up to see what the mom's culpability may or may not be. They will also consult with the Commonwealth Attorney.

Smith-Spencer was booked into Louisville Metro Department of Corrections. He is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 4.

A Go Fund Me has been set up by Rodriguez's family. https://www.gofundme.com/ilena-jadora-harris-funeral

Copyright 2017 WAVE 3 News. All right reserved.