A Texas mother who allegedly claimed her 3-year-old son caused her infant daughter’s death has been charged with murder in the baby’s killing, authorities said.
Acelyn Lailani Rogers was just 6 weeks old when she suffered a skull fracture so severe one of her doctors characterized it as the worst he’d ever seen, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Baby Acelyn died hours after her mother, 25-year-old Halle Marie Murray, brought her to Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital the afternoon of Jan. 14.
Authorities said Murray told a doctor she fell asleep with Acelyn on her chest and when she woke, the baby was on the floor and her son was standing over her, the affidavit said.
Murray allegedly told a hospital chaplain her son has attention deficit disorder and dropped his little sister.
Acelyn was transferred to Cook Children’s Medical Center, where a doctor said there was no way a toddler dropping his sister could cause such injuries, the Star-Telegram wrote.
Murray allegedly left the hospital and went home for unknown reasons, later saying she needed to drop off her keys and a pink onesie belonging to her daughter, according to the affidavit.
“Halle had access to her apartment prior to officers being able to secure the scene,” police wrote. “It wasn’t until after she realized her initial story about how the injuries may have happened were questioned, that she gave inconsistent statements as to what she actually did at the apartment prior to officers securing the scene.”
Acelyn died at 5:48 p.m.
Police said Murray then told them she found her son standing over her daughter, who was on the bed in her mother’s bedroom, while he held a metal fidget spinner, which she said appeared to match of the shape of the bruises on the baby’s forehead.
Murray allegedly claimed her son was rough with his little sister and that he had previously slapped, bit, kicked and spit at the baby. He also hit her with objects, Murray reportedly said.
But a doctor who observed the little boy playing with a doll that was about the same size and weight of Acelyn said he did not “demonstrate the dexterity or force to cause the extensive head injuries” his sister suffered, the Star-Telegram wrote.
Murray’s son was taken into state custody and placed into the care of a relative after both he and Murray tested positive for cocaine in the days after Acelyn’s death, police said.
An autopsy determined Acelyn suffered multiple fractures caused by repeated blows to the head and her death was ruled a homicide.
Murray was taken into custody at her workplace Saturday and charged with capital murder of a child under 10.
She was being held on $250,000 bail in the Tarrant County Lon Evans Correction Center, online records showed.