Swainsboro teen jailed for brother's murder

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September 9, 2006

A family in Swainsboro is suffering through the loss of not one but two children. One was killed, and the other is in jail for the murder.

An 18-year-old Swainsboro woman is in jail tonight for stabbing her brother to death.

21-year old David Smith, Jr. died yesterday afternoon from a single stab wound to his chest.

This is the first murder in Swainsboro in more than seven years.

"I can call this nothing else but a tragedy," Swainsboro police chief Johnny Shuman told News 12.

On Friday, Chief Shuman not only had to tell Teresa Harmon her son was dead, but worse...

"I also had the absolute unpleasant duty of telling her she could not have her daughter back, at least not for a while."

Eighteen year old Schenis was arrested Friday for fatally stabbing her brother.

It all started at 330 North Racetrack Street around five o'clock. 21-year-old David Smith and Schenis were home alone when a fight broke out over hot dogs.

"It was a sibling squabble. The older brother likes to boss the younger woman around, and now that she is older she doesn't like to be bossed no more," Chief Shuman said.

Authorities believe Schenis grabbed a kitchen knife, stabbing her older brother one time in the chest. The reason why is still under investigation. David smith stumbled out the back door and called 911. EMS responded within minutes, but smith was already unconscious, dying on the street.

"He was lying on the pavement in a huge puddle of blood," Chief Shuman said. "Present was his sister, who was distraught beyond words."

Schenis is now at the Emanuel County Jail in a holding cell, under a suicide watch because of her emotional condition. Chief Shuman hopes no other mothers have to grieve like Teresa.

We're all really bothered by the situation," he said. "Swainsboro, praise the Lord, doesn't have many homicides, and we'd really like to keep it that way."

Schenis Harmon has not been formally charged for her brother's death.

Swainsboro police tell us they expect to charge her with felony murder once the investigation is complete.