A felony charge could be dropped against a Killeen Police Department officer after a Bell County grand jury this week no-billed the injury to a child case.
Laura Smith, 30, was arrested in July after being accused of injuring a 5-year-old girl, according to the arrest affidavit.
On Wednesday, the injury-to-a-child charge, a state jail felony, was presented to a grand jury, which no-billed the case, meaning the grand jury opted to not indict Smith on the charge, according to court records.
The Bell County District Attorney’s Office would not say whether the charge would be dropped against Smith or re-presented to a grand jury in the future.
“I am prohibited to discuss the proceedings of the grand jury,” said First Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Newell, on Friday.
Smith, who has been with the department since December 2018, was placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation, according to Killeen police in a news release on July 30.
As of Friday, her status with the department has not changed and the internal investigation is ongoing.
“She will remain on leave until the completion of the internal affairs investigation,” said KPD Spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez. “Part of that investigation had to pause for the criminal investigation.”
The allegation stemmed from a July 28 incident at a Killeen home. Smith, who was off duty at the time, was accused of throwing a belt at her husband. The thrown belt hit a 5-year-old girl, injuring the child, according to the arrest affidavit. Officers observed a knot on the girl’s forehead, and she was taken to the hospital for medical care. The girl underwent a forensic interview by the Child Advocacy Center of Central Texas.
During the interview, she said her father had tossed a belt at Smith, who then picked it up and threw it back at her father, striking the girl in the head with the metal part of the belt, the affidavit stated. The girl’s brother also was interviewed and said Smith had thrown the belt that hit the girl in the head.