by Allen Powell II
New Orleans bureau
March 27, 2013
Gretna — A Marrero man accused of physically abusing a 2-year-old girl has been booked with murder after the toddler’s death Thursday night.
Cyril Jones, 23, is being held at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center without bond after Darionne Taylor died at a local hospital from injuries she received last weekend.
Jones was already in custody after being booked with two counts of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile after he admitted to striking Taylor because she would not behave while he was babysitting her, said Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Fortunato said that on March 15, Jones was watching Taylor and several other children at a home on Wakefield Drive in Marrero while the girl’s mother was at work. After initially claiming the child hurt herself when she fell from a bed, Jones later admitted to becoming irate because the little girl refused to stop running through the home.
Jones told investigators that he struck her once causing her to fall to the ground and hit her head. Fortunato said that Jones told the girl to go to sleep.
A short while later the little girl was misbehaving again, and Jones grabbed her and began shaking her, Fortunato said. He warned her to stop jumping on the bed, and then took her into a kitchen where she became unconscious, according to Fortunato.
The child began having a seizure, and Jones eventually contacted paramedics, Fortunato said. Authorities determined that the girl had bite marks and several bruises on her body.
Fortunato said the girl was in critical condition and on a ventilator for the past week.
The Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and ruled her death a homicide.
Fortunato said authorities have not located any prior arrest history for Jones other than a traffic attachment.
Attempts to reach Taylor’s family at their Marrero home were unsuccessful Friday morning.
Taylor’s death is the second homicide involving a toddler in Jefferson Parish this year. In February, Desmon Brown, 3, was found dead by his mother beneath a pile of dirty clothes in Marrero in February.
Authorities later booked Timothy Reed with murder and attempted murder in the case. Authorities say that Reed, who also was the boyfriend of the child’s mother, killed the child and then planned to burn him and the mother in the home.
Reed is still awaiting trial.