A Florissant man already facing charges for threatening to kill his children, rape his neighbors and shoot up two local schools, also apparently was keeping a fetus in his bathroom, according to his arrest records.
When Jason Scott Smith, 37, was being arrested related to the threats last week, a search of his home uncovered a Mason jar containing “the identifiable remains of an aborted fetus,” which Smith later said came from his wife’s abortion procedure a year ago, records said. A Teller County clerk initially redacted that information from the arrest document, but The Gazette challenged the redactions as excessive under Colorado Judicial Department’s public access policy and received a revised copy. Smith remains in jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond.
Smith had been charged with abuse of a corpse, a misdemeanor, but the charge was dropped “pending further information,” 4th Judicial District Prosecutor Beth Reed said, declining to elaborate.
Federal and state law offers a possible explanation.
Abuse of a corpse applies to the removal or inhumane treatment of any person’s remains, but the U.S. Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade rejects a fetus as a “person” protected by the Constitution. Some states have since enacted laws to protect unborn children against certain crimes, but Colorado “has no provisions criminalizing the injuring or killing of a fetus,” according to Colorado Revised Statute 18-6-401.
That said, it appears police are still exploring other potential charges.
Read the full story at Gazette.com.