A 32-year-old Wisconsin Rapids man attempted to kill his unborn child by spiking the mother's water bottle with a drug designed to terminate a pregnancy, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.
Jeffrey S. Smith was charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide of an unborn child in an incident at a Wausau home Jan. 27, the complaint said.
The mother, who was 20 weeks pregnant, told investigators Smith, who wanted her to get an abortion, spiked the water when she went to the bathroom that night and left the water bottle with him, the complaint said.
After he left, she noticed "residue" in the bottom of the water bottle, didn't drink it and took it to police the next day, the complaint said.
Testing found the prescription drug Mifepristone in the water.
Dr. Paul Kerns, an Aspirus Hospital specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, told investigators the drug has only one purpose - to terminate a pregnancy - by blocking a hormone essential for the healthy development of a fetus, essentially causing it to die, the complaint said.
Smith made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon. He is also charged with felony delivery of a prescription drug.
Wausau Police Capt. Matt Barnes said the mother and her baby were not hurt in the incident.
According to the complaint:
The woman - identified in court records by her initials - told investigators Smith was upset when informed she was pregnant and they discussed abortion and adoption. "He did not want to have anything to do with the child."
In text messages between October and late January, Smith urged her to get an abortion because "it's for the best," advising "you take a pill...They watch you do it. It's that simple. Side affects are virtually 0."
The woman told Smith abortion was not an option and she continued to give him updates about the baby, including a doctor's appointment where she might learn the sex.
After testing found the drug in the woman's water bottle, officers searched Smith's home and found packaging labeled Misoprostol - a drug that serves different purposes, including inducing labor.
The complaint provides no information about how Smith may have gotten Mifepristone, which it describes as a "substance regulated by prescription."