Deputies: Man charged in death of 20-month-old baby, held under $2 million bond


(WNCT) A man is being held under a $2 million bond after being charged with the murder of a 20-month-old baby, deputies said.

On September 26, the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office responded to the residence located at 3116 Bells Fork Road in reference to an unresponsive baby.

Lifesaving measures were attempted, and the baby was transported to Vidant Medical Center where she later succumbed to her injuries. 

The victim was identified as 20-month-old Brianna Smith.

After an investigation that included the Pitt County Medical Examiner’s office, Pitt County DA’s Office, and Pitt County DSS, Jerry Wayne Merritt, 61, of Greenville, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and felony child abuse. 

Merritt remains in custody under a $2 million bond.

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