Conway parents of 2-year-old, who shot himself on Christmas Day, indicted after daughter has positive drug test

troot@thesunnews.comMay 2, 2013 

— The parents of a 2-year-old Conway boy, who accidentally shot himself on Christmas Day, were indicted by an Horry County grand jury on a neglect charge in connection with their 10-month-old daughter testing positive for drugs.

Rondell Jovan Smith, 30, and Lakisha Brown, 27, both of Conway were each indicted on a charge of unlawful conduct towards a child in connection the younger child, according to indictments released Tuesday.

Smith was indicted last month on an involuntary manslaughter charge in connection with 2-year-old Sincere Smith’s death.

The unlawful conduct charge was filed in February after officials with the S.C. Department of Social Services tested the couple’s younger child, a daughter who was less than a year old in December. The girl tested positive for cocaine and marijuana, according to an Horry County police report. The testing showed she had inhalation exposure to the cocaine and marijuana as well as ingestion exposure to marijuana.

The girl is placed in emergency protective custody, according to the report.

Sincere Smith died on the way to the hospital after picking up a gun his father had left on a table and shooting himself on Christmas Day. The manslaughter indictment showed that authorities seek to hold Smith responsible for the “unintentional killing.”

Smith was arrested late Dec. 25 on the charge and released the following day on $500 bond, according to records at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Sincere Smith died on the way to the hospital after picking up a gun his father had left on a table and shooting himself on Christmas Day, according to police.

According to the Gun Control Act of 1968, Rondell Smith is not allowed to possess or acquire a gun or ammunition because he was convicted of a misdemeanor crime that could’ve carried more than two years imprisonment.

Smith was convicted on misdemeanor drug possession charges – marijuana and cocaine – in 2005 and 2006 according to a State Law Enforcement Division background check.

In 2006, he was sentenced to three years imprisonment, suspended, with two years of probation to run concurrently for possession of less than one gram of meth or cocaine base. He was sentenced to one year, suspended, with two years probation for possession of 28 grams or less of marijuana, according to SLED.

Smith did not have any convictions between 2006 and his son’s death, records show.

Rondell Smith, in an interview with The Sun News a couple days after his son’s death, was inconsolable by family and said no punishment by the law would suffice.

Tears steadily ran down Smith’s face as he recalled the day his son died. About two weeks before the child’s death, Smith said someone tried to break into his home while he and his family were there. He said he felt like he was nothing because we wouldn’t have been able to protect his family, so he got a gun.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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