Larry Leflore 26, 1819 Carolina St., denied spanking 11-month-old Aaliyah Heard, but he was implicated in her death by the child's older brother.
"My sister is dead because she got a whipping," the boy told an interviewer at a children's advocacy center. "Her daddy whipped her, put her in the bed and she stopped breathing. Milk was coming out of her nose."
While he denied killing his daughter, Leflore admitted hitting the infant's mother, Ashley Heard, because he claimed she was not properly caring for the child, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Leflore was booked Thursday into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison with first-degree murder and simple battery.
Heard told authorities that two days before her baby's death, Aaliyah had been trying to stand when Leflore "became angry and slapped her legs so hard that it caused her to fall and hit the left side of her head on the floor," the affidavit says.
Heard's son, whose age was not immediately available, recalled seeing Leflore strike the child on both sides of her head.
Aaliyah's parents rushed her to the hospital about 1:15 p.m. June 21 because of "breathing difficulty," the affidavit says. They flagged down an Emergency Medical Services vehicle en route, which took the baby to Baton Rouge General Medical Center.
Medical personnel spotted what appeared to be cigarette burns on the baby's extremities, the affidavit says.
Aaliyah died the next morning and an autopsy revealed she had a broken right clavicle, bleeding on the brain, retinal hemorrhaging and injuries to the anus.
Several marks, bruises and abrasions also pointed to a history of abuse, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office. The Department of Children and Family Services has said it had no substantiated reports of abuse or neglect before the baby's death.
Heard, 28, 196 Apartment Court Drive, Apt. 154, was also arrested on accusations she failed to report her daughter's extensive injuries to authorities.
The mother has admitted knowing about the cigarette burns on her daughter's body, but told detectives she "felt that the injuries would go away."
Copyright © 2014, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved