Willow Grove couple found guilty of murder after beating 4-year-old to death

Jim Melwert
June 21, 2019 - 10:55 am

Jim Melwert/KYW Newsradio

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — It took a Montgomery County jury a little over three hours to find a Willow Grove couple guilty of first-degree murder for the deadly beating of her 4-year-old son. 

Defense lawyers for 20-year-old Lisa Smith and 26-year-old Kieff King argued for a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, saying Smith and King were just trying to discipline her son Tahjir. 

Related: Couple on trial for murder, accused of beating 4-year-old to death for spilling cereal

Smith's lawyer, Carrie Allman, told jurors that, while it's easy to view Smith and King as monsters, they never imagined hitting the boy with a flip-flop could cause his death, and there was never the intent to kill, which would make this murder.

But prosecutor Ed McCann pointed to what had been years of abuse of the boy, including multiple broken ribs and whippings with a belt that left scars.

"The analogy I gave to the jury was if you throw pebbles at a window long enough, ultimately you're going to break it. And if you keep throwing the pebbles, that shows you what the intent is," McCann said.

Smith and King will be sentenced at a later date, but first-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence.