Mid-South father charged in death, abuse of his son

Mid-South father charged in death, abuse of his son

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A man is now facing murder charges after a police report says he confessed to injuring his son and causing him to die.

What was initially reported as a child in distress is now a murder investigation.

Wednesday morning officers responded to Trezevant street. A man called 911 saying his child was not breathing.

Paramedics rushed the infant to LeBonheur, but his injuries were too severe.

By Thursday morning Memphis Police arrested and charged 35-year-old Antonio First with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and child neglect.

Neighbors say First moved into the home last summer.

“Quiet, young couple with their little dogs,” said neighbor Petra Cannon Smith.

Neighbors say only recently did the kids show up.

“When they first moved in there was no kids, I didn’t see kids. Within the last two weeks I saw some kids over, I’ve always just seen them two,” said Smith.

Smith continued to say nothing seemed odd about the couple and she thought First was friendly with the children.

“He’s been out playing with the little boys, you know, they’ve been out in the yard playing with the dogs and the kids,” said Smith.

Wednesday’s investigation revealed First’s son had major bruising all over his body, skull fractures on both side of his head, ligature marks around his neck and his stomach was filled with blood.

Police say First admitted to slapping the boy, who then hit a wall causing the injuries that ultimately took his son’s life.

According to the police report First told officers he did not have custody of his son because of a 2019 incident when he called 911, saying the boy was having trouble breathing.

His son was later diagnosed with a bruised forehead and a hematoma under the scalp.

MPD says two other children were in the home, they say the department of child services was contacted and advised.

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.