MACHIAS, Maine — Jury selection is scheduled next month in the case of a former Lubec man, who is facing three charges, including manslaughter, in connection with the death of his adopted son more than two years ago.
Aloric Smith, 12, died April 4, 2012. A family member found him unresponsive in his bed at about 6:30 a.m. His adoptive father, Edward Smith, called for an ambulance. The boy was pronounced dead at Down East Community Hospital in Machias.
An autopsy determined the boy, who suffered from childhood diabetes, died of natural causes, according to a Maine State Police detective.
It was more than a year later before Smith was accused of any wrongdoing. He was charged with aggravated furnishing of a scheduled drug and endangering the welfare of a child in an indictment handed down by a Washington County grand jury in September 2013.
The indictment initially was sealed, however, because Smith had moved. He was taken into custody in Missouri in October 2013 and was transported to Maine the following month.
A superseding indictment was returned in November 2013, and Smith was charged with an additional count of manslaughter for “recklessly, or with criminal negligence,” causing the boy’s death.
Unable to post a $5,000 cash bail or a $50,000 surety bond, Smith has since been held in the Washington County jail.
Jury selection is scheduled for Nov. 6, and the case is scheduled for trial in Washington County Superior Court on Dec. 8. Justice Robert Murray will preside.
Smith and his wife moved to Missouri several months after the boy’s death, his Machias defense attorney, Jeff Davidson, said Friday. He voluntarily waived extradition back to Maine, Davidson noted.
Smith, who operated a farm when he lived in Lubec, is accused in the manslaughter indictment of not taking the boy to a hospital or doctor when he was ill, Davidson explained.
“I think the state intends to prove not taking him to a doctor somehow caused his death,” Davidson said. “From our perspective, that seems like a leap.”
The boy had a doctor’s appointment scheduled the day before he died, Davidson said. However, when the boy woke up that morning, he was “doing much better,” Davidson said, so Edward Smith did not take the boy to his appointment, believing his son did not need medical attention.
Years earlier, the boy was diagnosed with childhood diabetes, according to attorneys on both sides of the case. Since his diagnosis, he had been treated for it and regularly was seen by physicians, Davidson said.
The drug charge is related to the fact that Edward Smith allegedly gave the boy a Valium the weekend before he died, thinking he had the flu, which he did, Davidson said. However, the Valium “did not relate to his death in any way,” Davidson added.
Edward Smith, who earlier said he raised the boy since he was 3 years old and legally adopted him in 2007, is accused of not getting medical care for his son, Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin explained. “We’re alleging that he acted recklessly in the days leading to this son’s death,” she said recently.
Robbin declined to talk about the details of the case, of which she said she was not at liberty to discuss. “There are a whole number of factors,” Robbin said.
“It was referred to our office by the state police as a possible homicide,” Robbin said. The Maine Attorney General’s office normally prosecutes homicide cases, she noted.