The story is almost too tragic to comprehend — the father of an 11-month-old little girl was arrested and charged with first degree murder of the toddler. The dramatic arrest and charging of the father was preceded by the charging of a Baton Rouge woman for failing to report several injuries on the baby’s body, including cigarette burns on her hip and leg. The mother admitted to noticing the injuries but simply figured they would cure themselves. It is unclear at this point if her testimony to investigators led the police to the father as the main perpetrator.
Although the burns, bruises and abrasions were not fatal to the small victim, an investigator with the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office further concluded that the child was most likely struck violently in the head by a human hand. This injury to the head and the brain proved fatal, and joined with the other injuries, pinpointed during the autopsy, led investigators to conclude that the fatal blow to the head was the culmination of a sad history of abuse.
Now, while the mother has been jailed on a second-degree count of cruelty to a juvenile, the 26-year-old father faces first-degree murder and simple battery in the death of his daughter. He’s being held in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison — with no bond set as yet. If you have been accused of murder, you are already aware of the severity of the circumstance. This highlights the need for an experienced homicide defense lawyer to treat you with respect and put together the criminal defense necessary to receive the best possible outcome of your trial.
The official coroner’s report noted the youngster died of blunt force trauma to the head. The child also suffered a broken right clavicle, bleeding on the brain, retinal hemorrhaging in the interior of the eyes and injuries to the anus. All this was included in the probable cause affidavit that resulted in the arrest and serious charging of the father.
Unfortunately, the pattern of violence against kids does not begin and end with the present aggravated case. Weeks ago, a local mother and her partner were charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 23-month-old boy. That little boy also died from blunt force head injuries. And only last April, an 18-month-old also died of blunt force trauma to the head after she was struck by her mother’s boyfriend, police allege.
The Advocate, “BR mother arrested in infant’s death” Jim Mustian, Jun. 15, 2013