DETROIT – A 38-year-old Detroit man was sent to prison Friday for murdering his 2-year-old daughter.
Thomas Earl Smith was sentenced to 25-50 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the girl's death.
Smith was originally charged with second-degree child abuse after leaving the toddler Feb. 11 in the care of her 7-year-old brother at their home in the 14000 block of Corbett Street.
Police said Smith returned home to find his daughter lying at the bottom of the stairs. The 2-year-old was pronounced dead at the hospital.
At the time of the original charges, prosecutors didn't have the report from the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office. It was later determined that the girl's death wasn't an accident, medical officials said.
The girl's death was ruled a homicide after medical officials said she died of abusive head trauma and blunt force trauma to her chest.
The original case was dismissed and Smith faced new charges, including felony murder, torture, first-degree child abuse and second-degree child abuse.
Smith was scheduled to face a jury trial earlier this month, but he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
He will be given 270 days credit for time already served behind bars, the judge said.