A 14-year-old Waggaman, Louisiana, boy died on Feb. 10 after his parents reportedly beat him for having bad grades.
Police officers arrived at the scene on Feb. 6 after they received a call that a boy, Jalen Daniel, had fallen into the bathtub and hit his head. According to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office (JPSO), Jalen was breathing but not conscious when medical personnel arrived, WDSU reports.
Jalen was taken to the hospital, where his father, Furnell Daniel, told investigators that he paddled the boy for having poor grades. Furnell added that when Jalen complained of serious pain, he thought the boy was trying to get away without being disciplined.
“After speaking to the father, patrol officers were told by ER staff of the severity of the injuries and that the injuries were consistent with abuse, not a fall,” Col. John Fortunato of the JPSO said, according to WDSU.
Fortunato added that the injuries included bruises, contusions, lacerations and abrasions on the legs, arms, torso and head. It was also discovered that there was a splinter of wood above the victim’s right eye.
Jalen had reportedly complained of headaches and other injuries prior to his death. Furnell and Terri Daniel, Jalen’s stepmother, purchased headache medicine and Epson salts to bath him in. While he was taking a bath, Jalen collapsed.
According to the JPSO, Furnell and Terri ignored Jalen’s obvious need for medical attention. It wasn't until the next day, after Jalen's condition worsened, that Furnell called 911.
Jalen was pronounced brain dead on Feb. 8, KATC reports. He died on Feb. 10, and an autopsy performed on Feb. 11 determined Jalen died of bleeding between his brain and his skull due to a skull fracture from blunt force trauma.
Furnell and Terri were each originally booked on a count of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, but their charges have now been upgraded to second-degree murder, according to WDSU.