Family, girlfriend rally around Gresham man accused of killing 1 - KPTV - FOX 12

Family, girlfriend rally around Gresham man accused of killing 1-year-old boy

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Shalondre Adams in court Monday (KPTV) Shalondre Adams in court Monday (KPTV)
Dominick Smith (Family photo/KPTV) Dominick Smith (Family photo/KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Shalondre Adams, 21, appeared in court Monday, charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend’s 13-month-old son, Dominick Smith.

From behind a glass partition, Adams smiled and waved at friends and relatives who showed up to support him – including the baby’s mother, 19-year-old Judith Smith.

Smith shouted something at Adams as deputies escorted him back to jail.

Paramedics found the baby unconscious and not breathing Thursday morning at an apartment in Gresham. They tried to revive him, but he died. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner determined the boy died from a traumatic brain injury.

By Saturday afternoon, Adams was in custody.

Lurdes Rolon Sandoval is the baby’s great aunt and just last month, she said Smith granted her legal guardianship. Sandoval said she took care of Dominick on weekends and whenever she wasn’t working.

But the rest of the time, she said he was with Smith and Adams in Gresham.

When FOX 12 asked Sandoval if she ever worried about the baby’s safety she said, “Yes. I worried about them financially. I worried about the people they hung out with.”

In a Facebook post Sunday, the baby’s mother wrote: “I know for a fact my man is innocent. He fell in love with my son the first day he met him. All he wanted to do was teach him how to be the f****** best.”

Sandoval is skeptical.

“I know it’s being said that he felt very paternal towards Dominick and that he treated him as a son. The only thing I could think of was he’s not a father to that child because no father would do that," she said. 

After Adams’ arraignment, his sisters came to his defense.

“That’s wasn’t his biological son, but like I said, blood couldn’t make them no closer,” said Quiness Hall.

Shawndrea Adams said her brother has never been violent and he cared for Dominick like he was his own son.

“It’s definitely not my brother. Definitely not," she said. 

If her niece knows more about what happened, Sandoval is pleading with her to speak up. She said her great nephew deserves justice.

“The person who did this needs to be held accountable for their actions," she said. 

Adams is facing the charge of first-degree murder by assault and he is being held without bail in the Multnomah County Jail. He will return to court on Oct. 3.

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