Crime

Man Charged With Murder In Death Of Girlfriend's Baby

| by Jonathan Constante
DaJuan BarnesDaJuan Barnes

A Tallahassee man has been charged with second-degree homicide after his girlfriend's 11-month-old baby died under his watch.

DaJuan Barnes, 26, was watching his girlfriend's baby on May 6, USA Today reports. His girlfriend told police the baby was sick and had a fever.

The child’s mother gave the baby Motrin, but it wasn’t helping. She went to the store to get more medicine, and that’s when the baby’s condition got worse.

The baby began vomiting, and Barnes called 911. He told authorities the baby had recently fallen out of bed and was acting normal prior to the incident.

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When paramedics arrived, they found the baby still and lifeless, according to court documents. The baby was not breathing and EMTs gave CPR before rushing the child to a nearby hospital.

An autopsy was conducted the following day. The state medical examiner told an officer with the Tallahassee Police Department "he had never witnessed this type of severity in his career as a medical examiner" and "there was no other explanation than a homicide."

The medical examiner said the baby appeared to be slammed against something "so forcefully that it broke the baby's back and caused the baby to bleed to death" within minutes or seconds. He also found an unusual number of fingernail scars and that there was a lot of blood in the child’s stomach and internal organs.

Barnes was arrested and booked at Leon County Jail, where he is being held without bond. He told officers he is not the baby’s biological father, but added that the boy’s mother is seven months pregnant with his child.

Barnes was previously found not guilty of first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and carjacking with a firearm in the 2014 shooting death of 27-year-old Jessee Rollins. He was arrested two days after his acquittal for possession of marijuana, but those charges were later dropped.

Sources: USA Today, Tallahassee.com / Photo credit: Leon County Jail via USA Today

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