The case of a missing autistic 11-year-old boy, Terry Dewayne Smith, took a shockingly horrific turn when he was found murdered -- and then his 16-year-old half-brother was arrested. Now more shocking news has emerged. The judge in the case said that the teen defendant had a "history of violent outbursts." The young boy reportedly may have died from head injuries, according to his father. Ugh. Does this mean that the boy had been in danger all along?
The judge did not elaborate on the outbursts, but the teen will remain in custody until his next hearing because of public safety purposes. He had also been on probation, but the judge did not say what for.
His mother, Shawna Smith, and her partner, Dennise Bugna, were in the courtroom when the teen came in wearing a yellow jumpsuit. I can only imagine what they are going through, especially since Shawna left Terry in his older brother's care when the murder happened. Terry was found buried in a shallow grave near their home, but that was four days after the teen said he saw the boy wandering away from the house in Menifee, California.
If the teen had a history of violence, then I doubly feel for the mother, who must have had her hands full already. It's not easy to know what to do with a troublesome teen. Some grow out of it and turn out to be fine adults. Others just get worse. You can get a kid therapy, medication, and give him support, but at the end of the day, you're hoping for the best.
And praying that the worst -- something like this -- doesn't happen.
Some feel that the teen couldn't have possibly committed such a heinous act. Several people were in the courtroom to support him. One friend of the teen told the Press Enterprise:
He’s a good person and I just can't in good conscience make myself believe that he did this, or would even consider doing this.
Indeed it is difficult to believe. Terry was missing for days, while his half-brother joined in the search for him. Their aunt, Paula Smith, told the Los Angeles Times:
The boys didn't even disagree. There was no violence ever.
The teen has not admitted to anything yet, nor has he denied it, so we'll have to see how this all concludes. The heartache this family is going through has got to be immense.
Is there anything you'd like to say to the family?
Image via KTLA