Mother’s boyfriend charged with killing toddler

Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 5:27 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 9, 2020 at 5:44 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A Greenville man has been charged with killing a 20-month-old toddler.

Pitt County deputies charged 61-year-old Jerry Merritt with second degree murder and felony child abuse in the death of 20-month old Brianna Smith.

Officers were called to a home on Bells Fork Road for an unresponsive child on Saturday, September 26. Brianna Smith was taken to Vidant Medical Center where she later died.

Deputies say Merritt is the boyfriend of the toddler’s mother.

Merritt remains in jail on a $2,000,000 secured bond.

Several agencies were part of. what officials call, an extensive investigation that included the Pitt County Medical Examiners Office, the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Social Services.

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