An Egg Harbor Township man accused of killing the mother of his four children was indicted on murder and weapons charges in the killing.
Lashawn Smith, 36, had a pending charge in an assault of 28-year-old Sarah Phillips shortly before he allegedly beat her to death with a hammer.
A grand jury has indicted him on charges of first degree murder, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Phillips was trying to leave her longtime boyfriend when he fatally attacked her, a family member previously told BreakingAC.
Smith had a history of domestic violence dating back to his wife, who he divorced before Phillips. That woman had a restraining order taken out against Smith in 2004, according to information released at his detention hearing.
Smith’s previous arrests — dating back to charges as a juvenile — include robberies, simple assaults and resisting arrest, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy said at the hearing last month, when Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury ordered Smith held pending trial.
Public defender Steve Funk said Smith’s criminal history was not that extensive and asked that he be released with conditions.
Smith has five children, including four with Phillps: two girls ages 10 and 9, and two boys ages 8 and 5.
The children are now with Phillips’ mother, Paula Modelle.
Two GoFundMe pages have been set up to help with expenses, including upgrades needed to the home in order for the grandmother to keep the kids with her: one asks for help with house repairs, another is for the children.
VIDEO FROM DETENTION HEARING: