MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 24-year-old Brooklyn Park man is facing murder charges after a 7-month-old baby died from an assault back in March, according to charges filed by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Chris Marquis McMorris was charged with two counts of second-degree murder without intent in connection with the March 24 incident.
According to the charges, Brooklyn Park police were called at about 9:15 a.m. to a residence on Sumter Circle N. on a report of a child that was unresponsive and not breathing. When first responders arrived, they attempted life-saving measures on the female infant. She was taken to North Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The complaint states an autopsy showed the baby had 11 rib fractures and multiple bruises to her face, scalp, abdomen, back and buttocks. She also suffered a laceration to her liver that bled into her abdominal cavity. Authorities say the girl died of blunt force injuries to her abdomen and her manner of death was homicide.
The complaint states McMorris was alone with the baby on the morning of her death. He is in a relationship with the girl’s mother and lived with them and a 12-year-old relative in Brooklyn Park.
According to the complaint, McMorris’s girlfriend got blood test results on Feb. 9 showing that he was not the biological father of the baby. A paternity test was taken three days before the baby’s death, confirming McMorris was not the child’s father.
The complaint states he was watching the baby on March 24 after the girl’s mother left for work. The three days prior, McMorris dropped the child off at daycare. On March 21, daycare staff noticed the girl had two burst blood vessels in her eye. The next day, the baby had scratches and bruising on her right cheek. McMorris said it happened at their home and didn’t give any more detail. She had bruising on her back the following day. Daycare staff documented the injuries and reported them to Hennepin County Child Protection.
McMorris didn’t bring the girl to daycare on March 24, the complaint states. The girl’s mother told authorities the child had been suffering from a cold but was otherwise healthy. The mother could not explain the bruising or lacerations. She said she dressed and changed the baby early on the morning of March 24, and didn’t notice anything abnormal about the baby’s behavior.
The complaint states McMorris called 911 at about 9:14 a.m. on March 24 and said the baby wasn’t breathing. When officers arrived, the baby was lying on the ground and McMorris provided inconsistent accounts of when the baby was first not breathing and what she was wearing. He said the baby became unresponsive, stopped breathing and started vomiting a white substance. He had no explanation.
McMorris is not in custody. If convicted, he faces up to 80 years in prison.