MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 21-year-old Minneapolis man is accused of punching his 4-month-old daughter who later died of her injuries in the hospital.
On Tuesday, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office charged Cory Clifford Morris with second-degree murder with intent, but not premeditated, in connection to the Aug. 13 incident.
According to the criminal complaint, emergency responders were dispatched Saturday afternoon on the report that a father called 911 and admitted to killing his baby. When police arrived at the Franklin Avenue home, they found paramedics and firefighters performing CPR on the baby. There was blood on the wall and floor near the changing table in the baby’s room.
Officers then arrested Morris, who had swelling on his right hand and dried blood on his clothing, hands and arms, the complaint said.
The victim was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
According to the complaint, Morris admitted to officers that he lives with his girlfriend who is the mother of the victim, Emersyn. While his girlfriend was at work, he was watching the victim. He said he was watching TV when the baby began to make noises, so he brought her from her baby swing to her bedroom and he placed her on the changing table. There, she continued to make noises, so Morris said he hit her with a closed fist multiple times to quiet her.
The victim’s mother told officers that Morris watches the baby three to four times a week while she’s at work, and that she tried reaching him throughout the day, but he wouldn’t respond. Later, at 4:45 p.m., she said she spoke with Morris and he told her he was going to jail because he did something to their baby.
“This poor baby, just four-months-old, died at the hands of her father, who has admitted to punching her 15 times with a closed fist and hitting her seven times in the chest. As a father and grandfather, such brutal actions are difficult for me to comprehend,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “Family members have suggested there may be mental health issues here. These will need to be evaluated during the course of this case.”
On Monday, the baby’s mother, Jennifer Anderson, left an emotional post on her Facebook page. She posted a photo of the girl, along with the message: “I lost the sweetest little girl the world has ever known.”
Anderson went on to say that her heart has been “shattered” by her daughter’s death.
On Tuesday morning, Morris’ mother, Ginny, said her son was unwell and suffered from anxiety and depression. However, at no point did the family feel the child was unsafe with her father.
There is no violent behavior in Morris’ criminal record, just traffic tickets.
If convicted, Morris could face up to 40 years in prison.