New indictments level more serious charges against a Navy couple charged in the death of their 10-month-old daughter, who a medical examiner said had no body fat and died of medical and nutritional neglect.
The new indictments were handed up Tuesday by a grand jury, charging the mother, Heaven Kristina Smith, 21, with charges including first-degree murder. She had already faced a second-degree murder count.
Her husband, Corey Alan Bryant, 21, who had been charged only with two counts of felony neglect, has been indicted for felony homicide, according to Amanda Howie of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Miracle Grace Bryant died April 8. That same day, her twin sister, Heaven, was admitted to an intensive care unit at Portsmouth Naval Hospital. Their father was just returning from a three week Navy cruise.
New details of the case emerged during a hearing Tuesday that included testimony from a physician, a fire department captain, police and a medical examiner. Their apartment was a ruin, with 172 dirty diapers in a heap, a judge was told.
The parents were being held in local jails. Their surviving daughter has been released from a hospital to the custody of her paternal grandmother, Howie said.