By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — A former Wausau-area man accused of trying to kill his unborn child by secretly drugging the child’s mother with an abortion pill will spend 20 years in the Wisconsin Prison System after a plea hearing Friday in Marathon County Circuit Court.

Jeffrey Smith, 36, was sentenced to five years initial confinement followed by 15 years of extended supervision. As part of a plea agreement, Smith was convicted of attempted first degree intentional homicide of an unborn child. A charge ofunlawful delivery of a prescription drug was dismissed but read into the record at sentencing.

Charges against Smith were filed just days after the contents of a water bottle tested positive for drugs that police and prosecutors say were intended to cause his former girlfriend to terminate a pregnancy.

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 was 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 exchanged with Smith between October 2017 and January 2018 in which Smith repeatedly demanded she abort the child after the woman said she planned to keep the baby.

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. A formal complaint was filed on Feb. 7, 2018.

At sentencing, Circuit Judge LaMont Jacobson ordered Smith to have no contact with the victim or her child. He was allowed 689 days credit for time served while awaiting trial and was remanded into custody for transport to a Wisconsin correctional facility, court records show.