Man faces murder charge in death of 1-year-old daughter

Posted at 3:10 PM, Jun 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-01 22:22:13-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. -- Muskegon Police say a man has been arrested in connection with the drowning death of his 1-year-old daughter.

Justin Douglas Smutz, 32, is facing an open murder charge in connection with the May 25 incident in the 1200 block of Spring Street, according to a release.

Investigators say 1-year-old Adalynn Smutz died after being left with a 2-year-old sibling in a filled bathtub.   Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson says that the children were left unattended for a "significant" amount of time.

"I think it's important that any parent recognizes that young children need to be supervised at all times," Hilson said.  "Kids always have to be under the watchful eye of a parent.  They can never be left alone in hopes they will be able to survive on their own."

This is not Smutz's first run in with the law.    He was convicted of a domestic violence charge in 2008 after he got into a fight with the mother of his children.   In 2009, he pleaded guilty to domestic violence.

Several months after that, he was convicted of intimidating a witness.   Hilson said that he wrote dozens of letters from jail instructing his then-girlfriend on what to say.