Prosecutors have changed the felony charge against a man accused of causing his baby’s death.
An indictment was filed Friday against Cortavia E. Smith charging the Columbia man with child abuse resulting in death. Smith had been charged with second-degree murder. Both charges carry the same range of punishment and the requirement that the defendant serve 85 percent of his sentence if convicted.
Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight declined to comment on the reason for the change, citing the ongoing case.
Smith was arraigned on the new charge Monday morning, appearing by video from the Boone County Jail and entering a not guilty plea, according to online court records. He remained jailed Monday on a $500,000 cash-only bond.
Smith was first charged with child abuse in March 2018 after his 6-month-old daughter suffered bruising to her upper torso and head. Smith told police he had accidentally kicked the girl while they were in the same bed, according to court documents.
He was charged with murder in June after the baby’s death.