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Mich. dad with history of violence charged with murder of 6-week-old daughter

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Luis M. Smolen, 23, of Taylor, Mich., was arraigned on Dec. 10 and charged with the child abuse and subsequent first-degree murder of his six-week old newborn daughter, Payton Smolen.

Wayne Co. prosecutors said that the suburban Detroit father called police on the morning of Dec. 7 to report that the baby wasn’t breathing, according to The Detroit Free Press.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office, Maria Miller, said that the infant was suffering from head trauma plus other injuries, and died later that same day. The father was arrested by the Taylor police hours later.

While in court on Dec. 10, the dad “seemed to take responsibility, even after entering a not guilty plea,” per Click On Detroit.

"I made a mistake. I made a big mistake," Luis Smolen said.

Also during his arraignment, Smolen told the judge that he loved his family and works hard to support them. He admitted to making a mistake, going as far as to add, “I must pay for it.”

At his court date, Smolen requested of the judge that he be set free on bond so that could could continue working and be able to provide for his family. Smolen was employed by American Coney Island.

The judge denied that request for release on bond and remanded Smolen to jail.

Turns out, the tragic killing of his infant daughter wasn't Smolen’s first encounter with the law.

Taylor police, describing Luis Smolen as a man with a history of violence, was already free on bond on a separate case of assault. Police also said that child protective services had to be called before regarding Smolen and another of his children.

If convicted on the charge of first-degree child abuse, Luis Smolen could be looking at up to 20 years behind bars.

If convicted on the first-degree murder charge, Luis Smolen will receive a mandatory life sentence.

Smolen is due back in court on Dec. 16.

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