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Vigil held for 2-year-old murder victim

Toys were being collected Sunday at the LCSO prior to and during a vigil for 2-year-old Brantley Smith.

Two people have been charged in the brutal murder of a 2-year-old boy Saturday morning on Country Lane in Clinton.

The boy’s mother, Jessica Blake Smith, and her boyfriend, William Ryan Looper face charges from the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office after deputies found the boy dead at the residence. According to the LCSO, the child, Brantley Smith, had been beaten with apparent injuries all over his body. The report from the LCSO also said the child had been brutally sexually molested before his death.

“Unfortunately I have had to work many homicide cases over the years, some of which involved children, however this by far the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” said LCSO Capt. Robert Wilkie. “This incident brought tears to the eyes of our investigators and what these individuals did to this child is unimaginable.”

William Ryan Looper (left) and Jessica Blake Smith

Looper has been charged with murder, criminal sexual conduct with a minor (first degree) and two counts of unlawful conduct toward a child. Jessica Smith has been charged with homicide by child abuse and two counts of unlawful conduct toward a child.

A vigil for Brantley Smith was to be held at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Sheriff’s Office in downtown Laurens. Toys were being collected for Brantley Smith’s two older brothers, ages 6 and 7.

“These animals, who are possessed with pure evil, have no place in our society. There is no rehabilitation for people this evil. I’m sure God has a place for these broken individuals, as he does for these precious children,” said Laurens County Sheriff Don Reynolds.

Read more on this story in this week’s edition of the Laurens County Advertiser.


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