Father charged in death of child, critically injuring another
POSTED: Friday, March 23, 2012 - 12:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 23, 2012 - 2:11pm
SHREVEPORT, LA — A Shreveport man has been arrested in connection with the death one of his children from five years ago and injuries to his 3-month old son this week.
At around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, officers were dispatched to the 3800 block of Greenwood Road to a welfare concern. When police arrived, they contacted Teka Keller, the owner of a local daycare, who reported a 3-month old boy she was taking care of had some suspicious injuries.
Keller showed authorities a cellphone picture of the child and provided them with the name and address of the child. Detectives were immediately notified.
Investigators went to the child’s home at an apartment complex in the 6100 block of Tierra Drive and contacted the mother and father, Kenneth Willis, 27, of the baby.
Detectives noted the baby seemed lethargic and immediately called EMS crews to take the baby to a hospital.
Willis and the child’s mother were taken to the Shreveport Police Complex where they were both questioned and later released. At that stage of the investigation, detectives were awaiting a report from hospital personnel as to the extent of the child’s injuries.
Investigators later discovered that in February of 2007, Kenneth Willis had a 1-month old son, Zamian Willis, who died after being taken to a local hospital similar circumstances. It was later determined Zamian died as the result of head injuries and multiple fractures.
Detectives investigating the case named Kenneth Willis as a possible suspect and forwarded their findings to the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office. Officials there reviewed the case and told investigators there was not enough evidence to move forward with an arrest.
On Thursday, detectives learned the injuries sustained by Willis’ 3-month old child were not consistent with any kind of accidental fall.
Investigators took Willis into custody Thursday afternoon following interviews. He is charged with one count of second degree murder in connection with the death of Zamian Willis and one count of second degree cruelty to a juvenile in connection with the injuries sustained by his 3-month old child.
Authorities also arrested Teka Keller, 30, the day care owner, for failing to immediately report the injuries to the child. Over 8 hours passed from the time Keller allegedly first saw the injuries and reported the incident to authorities. Keller was issued a summons and released.
The toddler is currently in critical condition and on life support at a local hospital.