Witnesses Describe Slain Boy’s Body
Testimony continued Wednesday in the penalty trial of confessed murderer Gregory Scott Smith as witnesses described the body of his victim, 8-year-old Paul Bailly.
The Northridge boy had been gagged with cloth and duct tape, handcuffed, raped and strangled, Ventura County Coroner F. Warren Lovell testified. Paul’s body had been doused with a flammable liquid and set afire in a brushy area off Black Canyon Road near Simi Valley, where it was discovered on March 23, 1990, Lovell testified.
Smith, a former day-care aide who had worked at Paul’s school, has pleaded guilty to kidnaping, child molestation, forcible sodomy, murder and arson.
A Ventura County Superior Court jury is reviewing evidence to decide whether to recommend that a judge sentence Smith, 23, of Canoga Park to death in the gas chamber, or life in prison without possibility of parole.
Smith’s mother, Sherron Smith, testified Wednesday that she looked in the washer after the killing and found a pair of blue shorts, from which investigators said Paul’s cloth gag had been torn.
She also identified her son’s handwriting on a list of names topped by Paul’s name, then began to cry as defense attorney Willard P. Wiksell questioned her about the day Smith was arrested.
Witnesses are scheduled to testify today about complaints from Paul and other children that led day-care officials to fire Smith from a latchkey program at Darby Avenue Elementary School in Northridge.