A 33-year-old Wisconsin Rapids man accused of attempting to kill his unborn child by spiking the mother’s water bottle with a drug designed to terminate a pregnancy pleaded not guilty Tuesday, according to online Marathon County records.
Jeffrey S. Smith is charged with two felonies – attempted first-degree intentional homicide of an unborn child and delivery of prescription drugs – in an incident at a Wausau home Jan. 27.
No trial date was immediately set.
The 20-year-old mother who was 20 weeks pregnant told investigators Smith, who wanted her to get an abortion, spiked the water when she went to the bathroom, the criminal complaint said.
After he left that night, she noticed "residue" in the bottom of the water bottle, didn’t drink it and took it to police the next day, the complaint said.
Testing found the prescription drug Mifepristone in the water.
Dr. Paul Kerns, an Aspirus Hospital specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, told investigators the drug has only one purpose – to terminate a pregnancy – by blocking a hormone essential for the healthy development of a fetus, essentially causing it to die, the complaint said.
According to the complaint:
The woman – identified in court records by her initials – told investigators Smith was upset when informed she was pregnant and they discussed abortion and adoption. "He did not want to have anything to do with the child."
In text messages between October and late January, Smith urged her to get an abortion because "it’s for the best," advising "you take a pill…They watch you do it. It’s that simple. Side affects are virtually 0."
The woman told Smith abortion was not an option and she continued to give him updates about the baby, including a doctor’s appointment where she might learn the sex.
After testing found the drug in the woman’s water bottle, officers searched Smith’s home and found packaging labeled Misoprostol – a drug that serves different purposes, including inducing labor.