By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — The trial for a former central Wisconsin man accused of trying to kill his unborn child by secretly drugging the child’s mother with an abortion pill has been postponed until January.

A jury trial for Jeffrey Smith, 34, was set to begin Nov. 12 but will now begin Jan. 14 in Marathon County Circuit Court. Smith faces charges of attempted first degree intentional homicide and unlawful delivery of a prescription drug.

The charges were filed just days after the contents of a water bottle tested positive for Misoprostol. The prescription-only drug is used to start labor or cause an abortion, according to the manufacturer’s website.

An investigation began Jan. 28, 2018 when police were called to the North Third Avenue home of a Wausau woman who told investigators she suspected Smith spiked her water bottle while she was in the bathroom. The woman, who at the time was 21 weeks pregnant, said Smith is the father of her then-unborn child and has been pressuring her to get an abortion because he “didn’t want anything to do with the child,” court documents state.

The woman showed investigators a series of text messages she allegedly exchanged with Smith between October and January in which Smith repeatedly demanded she abort the child after the woman said she planned to keep the baby.

“You take a pill at the place,” Smith allegedly wrote in a text. “They watch you do it. It’s that simple. Side effects are virtually 0, especially the earliest you do it.”

The woman said Smith came to her house to discuss the baby and left shortly after she went to the bathroom. After Smith left, the woman said she noticed a residue inside her water bottle and called police. Investigators sent the bottle to the state crime lab, where the abortion drug was discovered.

Then on Feb. 1, 2018 police searched Smith’s Grand Rapids, Wis. home, where detectives located two empty blister packs for the medications Mifepristone and Misoprostol. After consulting with a local physician, investigators learned that Mifepristone blocks progesterone, and Misoprostol induces labor.

The reason for the delay is not clear in online court documents.

Smith, who now lists a Deerwood, Minn. address, remains jailed on a $500,000 cash bond.