Tag Archives: Oregon

Jessica Smith Pleads Not Guilty To Drowning Daughter

Jessica

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — Notes left by a mother accused of drowning her 2-year-old and cutting the throat of her teenage daughter recounted the attack and said the “baby didn’t suffer as she fell asleep in the water,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit unsealed Tuesday.

The document was released as a Clatsop County Circuit Court judge accepted not guilty pleas from Jessica Smith to charges of aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder. The murder charge could bring the death penalty if Smith is convicted.

Smith, 40, of Goldendale, Washington, appeared in court via video and smiled on several occasions during the 20-minute hearing. She nodded and winked when asked whether she understood that she would remain in jail at least until a Sept. 30 hearing.

Authorities have said Smith checked into the Surf Sand Resort in Cannon Beach on July 29 under her own name with her two daughters in tow. Three days later, a cleaning crew found the drowned body of the 2-year-old girl. The still-breathing teenager was covered in blood with her throat cut.

According to the affidavit, Smith gave her teenage daughter a double dose of a sleeping agent, then used a numbing compound on her neck before her throat was slashed.

Smith considered cutting the toddler’s throat, her 13-year-old daughter told an Oregon State Police detective, but chose to drown the child instead.

The state medical examiner, Dr. Karen Gunson, told The Oregonian that the 2-year-old had been heavily sedated with an over-the-counter antihistamine.

Gunson told the newspaper that asphyxiation by drowning was the main cause of the 2-year-old’s death and the drug was a “contributing cause.”

The teen was identified in the affidavit but her name is being withheld by The Associated Press because of her age.

Prosecutors have declined to provide further details on the attacks.

In court Tuesday, Smith’s attorney William David Falls said the case is complex and he would need time to prepare for several possible defenses, including one based on Smith’s mental health.

Falls also said the publicity surrounding the case would make it more difficult to find an unbiased jury in Clatsop County.

On July 31, the children’s father, Greg Smith, told a Washington state detective that Jessica Smith sent his colleagues a 15-page email excoriating him and raising complaints about their marriage.

Greg and Jessica Smith’s surviving daughter told police the difficult relationship of her parents came up frequently in the motel room. The couple separated in April, and the teenage daughter told police Greg Smith was seeking custody of the children.

Source : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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Jessica Smith | Mother smiles, winks during hearing on child’s slaying

smith

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) – Notes left by a mother accused of drowning her 2-year-old and cutting the throat of her teenage daughter recounted the attack and said the “baby didn’t suffer as she fell asleep in the water,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit unsealed Tuesday.

VIDEO:Watch KGW report

The document was released as a Clatsop County Circuit Court judge accepted not guilty pleas from Jessica Smith to charges of aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder. The murder charge could bring the death penalty if Smith is convicted.

Smith, 40, of Goldendale, Washington, appeared in court via video and smiled on several occasions during the 20-minute hearing. She nodded and winked when asked whether she understood that she would remain in jail at least until a Sept. 30 hearing.

Authorities have said Smith checked into the Surf Sand Resort in Cannon Beach on July 29 under her own name with her two daughters in tow. Three days later, a cleaning crew found the drowned body of the 2-year-old girl. The still-breathing teenager was covered in blood with her throat cut.

According to the affidavit, Smith gave her teenage daughter a double dose of a sleeping agent, then used a numbing compound on her neck before her throat was slashed.

Smith considered cutting the toddler’s throat, her 13-year-old daughter told an Oregon State Police detective, but chose to drown the child instead.

The state medical examiner, Dr. Karen Gunson, told The Oregonian that the 2-year-old had been heavily sedated with an over-the-counter antihistamine.

Gunson told the newspaper that asphyxiation by drowning was the main cause of the 2-year-old’s death and the drug was a “contributing cause.”

The teen was identified in the affidavit but her name is being withheld by The Associated Press because of her age.

Prosecutors have declined to provide further details on the attacks.

In court Tuesday, Smith’s attorney William David Falls said the case is complex and he would need time to prepare for several possible defenses, including one based on Smith’s mental health.

Falls also said the publicity surrounding the case would make it more difficult to find an unbiased jury in Clatsop County.

On July 31, the children’s father, Greg Smith, told a Washington state detective that Jessica Smith sent his colleagues a 15-page email excoriating him and raising complaints about their marriage.

Greg and Jessica Smith’s surviving daughter told police the difficult relationship of her parents came up frequently in the motel room. The couple separated in April, and the teenage daughter told police Greg Smith was seeking custody of the children.

 Source : http://www.kgw.com/

Police receive tip on possible sighting of missing Oregon mum Jennifer Huston

Jennifer

JENNIFER Huston, a 38-year-old married mother-of-two, has been missing since she left her home on July 24 after complaining of a headache.

Mrs Huston left the house in Dundee, Oregon in her dark green 1999 Lexus LX 470 at 5:45pm before stopping at the Circle K gas station in Newberg, Oregon where she withdrew a small amount of money from an ATM, filled her car and bought a Gatorade, some trail mix and a nonlethal amount of sleeping pills.

She hasn’t been seen since.

Mrs Huston’s family and police have been baffled by her disappearance and had no clues on her whereabouts until they received a tip on a possible sighting on Thursday in Washington.

The New York Daily News reports witnesses said they may have seen the blue-eyed blonde-haired mother take a ferry to the San Juan Islands.

The San Juan Islands are an archipelago in the northwest corner of the United States between the US mainland and Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

A couple thought they saw Huston’s green SUV on a ferry going to Friday Harbor from Anacortes, according to the sheriff’s office.

Now, San Juan County Sheriff deputies are rushing to get their hands on surveillance video from aboard that ferry, according to Fox12.

“The information that we’ve received is that there was a female on the boat, on the 9 o’clock ferry sailing from Anacortes to Friday Harbor on Thursday morning July 31,” said San Juan County Under sheriff Bruce Distler.

“The woman we talked to also identified a green car, possibly a 99 Lexus, with cracked windshield although she couldn’t give us a license plate,” said Distler.

Deputies say the couple who spotted the car also described a woman in her 30s with blonde hair who had a 2 by 3 inch white Band-Aid on her left cheek. The tip was so descriptive, they’ve alerted the Newberg police department.

Deputies say they have also called ferry security based out of Seattle to pull the tape from that morning so they can confirm if the woman is in fact Huston.

“It’s not something that’s just another tip, it’s something that is serious enough that we’re gonna take a look at it and make sure everything pans out,” said Distler.

Meanwhile, Mrs Huston’s husband and father joined KATU News in Portland for an interview on Sunday morning to talk about the latest developments in the search.

“It’s been an emotional time for the family. Lots of ups and downs,” said Kallen Huston, Jennifer’s husband.

“These leads get us excited for a short bit, then reality sets back in and it’s been difficult.”

Mr Huston said the family doesn’t know yet if the new lead is credible.

“The islands are small and it should not take a long time to search,” he said. “We’ve vacationed many times there in the past.”

Huston’s father, Bill Turner, says he believes Jennifer is still in Oregon.

“I believe she’s within 25 miles of Newberg,” Turner said.

“We are still searching the parks and places she could have gone within walking distance,” he said.

Source : http://www.couriermail.com.au/