Man charged in baby's death - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man charged in baby's death

Jamaal Eddie Jamaal Eddie

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis man has been charged in the death of an infant child.

According to Memphis police, Jamaal Eddie, 26, was charged Thursday morning with one count of first degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child abuse and one count aggravated child abuse.

Investigators said on February 27, 2009, eleven-month old Brennan Rayford was taken to Lebonheur Children's Medical Center from the 1000 block of Peabody Avenue. The baby was unresponsive when police arrived at the hospital, and was suffering from an unexplained head injury.

Rayford remained in the intensive care unit for several days before dying Sunday.

"The child died as a result of blunt force trauma," said MPD Sgt. Lambert Ross.

Police chalked Rayford's death up to child abuse.

"This is the first case this year," Ross said.  "And I hope it's the last case this year."

Investigators later determined the baby was left in the care of Eddie, the mother’s boyfriend, when she went to work Friday morning.  According to court records, Eddie told police he hit the baby in the head several times with his open hand because he would not stop crying.  He told police he also hit Brennan on his buttocks several times.  The baby became unresponsive.

"I just couldn't imagine," said neighbor Chastity Peterson.

Neighbors suspect the young mother is just too upset to talk.

"I haven't contacted her or anything," Peterson said.  "Cause I know she's going through a lot right now.".

Police say she's learning a lesson way too late.

"I understand she's trying to work," Ross said.  "But at the same time, you've got to make sure your child's being cared for," he adds.

Eddie was taken into custody Tuesday at an apartment complex in Whitehaven.

The Memphis Child Advocacy Center will raise a flag in Rayford's memory Friday morning at 11:00am at their offices at 1085 Poplar Avenue.

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