Police explain second-degree cruelty charge against mother for infant death

Police explain second-degree cruelty charge against mother for infant death
Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 5:00am

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 10:40am

A mother accused in the death of her 11-month-old baby has been arrested.

Baton Rouge Police said Aaliyah Heard, the little girl, had bruises all over her body.

Detectives booked Ashley Heard into Parish Prison on a charge of Second-Degree Cruelty to a juvenile, after her daughter Aaliyah died Saturday, June 22.

"The charges are based upon the fact that the child had visible injuries that the mother, whether she inflicted them or not, and even if she did not inflict them, they were visible," Lt. Don Kelly said. "She should have seen them, and she should have, as a parent, had an obligation to seek medical attention."

According to autopsy results, the baby died from blunt force head injuries with cuts and bruises on different parts of her body.

"What we do have probable cause to prove that this point is that there were visible injuries; Cigarette burns to the hip and leg of this baby, as well as bruising to her head and face," Kelly said. "The mother had an obligation to seek medical attention or to report to law enforcement if someone besides her was inflicting these injuries, and those steps were not taken."

After questioning, police arrested heard. Kelly said, as a mother, she should have reported these injuries to Child Protection Services or the police.

"Well, all we know right now was what the coroner was able to tell us after the autopsy is that the death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head," Kelly said. "What caused that blunt forced trauma we still don't know yet."

However, Kelly said Heard's arrest will not be the last.

"We do expect that there will be additional charges before the investigation is over, either against this lady or perhaps against others," Kelly said."But there were other people besides the mother who had access to this child. So we've got to investigate and interview all of those individuals to try to determine what happened and who was responsible."

Kelly said police are not done investigating. We will keep you updated as we get more information in this case.  

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