I just do not understand how anyone could do this to a child. The man obviously did not like children and had a past of abuse so why would he volunteer to babysit and if the mother knew of his past she should be charged with child endangerment. Sick, sick people. This kind of things makes me so sad.
FROM THE MOBILE REGISTER
Brutal beating of child alleged
Detective testifies that father described how he killed daughter
Friday, April 01, 2005
By GARY McELROY
Shortly after his infant daughter's death, David Allen Austin told investigators that he caused her injuries when he tripped on a child's safety gate and fell on her, a Mobile District Court judge was told Thursday.
But Austin's story changed, according to sheriff's department detective Paul Burch, when the 23-year-old father was presented with photos from the little girl's autopsy and was assured that her injuries could not have happened the way that Austin had said.
Burch said Austin then told him that he killed his 6-week-old daughter, Ashley, by beating her with his fists and grabbing her by the ankles, swinging her around and bashing her head against a door frame.
Ashley's transgression, Burch quoted Austin as saying during the videotaped interview, was that she would not stop crying.
"The injuries here are probably the worst I have ever seen in a child victim as a prosecutor," Assistant District Attorney John Furman said outside court after the hearing.
Burch's testimony in the preliminary hearing persuaded District Judge Charles McKnight to send Austin's capital murder case to a grand jury for possible indictment.
One autopsy photo showed the baby's skull crisscrossed as if by a torn spider-web in a series of fractures and fissures running in several directions.
According to Burch's testimony and previous reports, the unemployed Austin was with Ashley and his 1-year-old son at the family's home on Spanish Trail Drive in Theodore on the night of Feb. 22.
The older child was not hurt.
About 2 a.m. Feb. 23, Austin called 911 to report his daughter's injuries.
The children's mother was away at work at the time, according to Furman.
Burch told McKnight that an autopsy by Dr. Leroy Riddick of the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences showed that the little girl had died from blunt force trauma to her head and further revealed that she had broken and injured ribs, some beginning to heal, others newly made.
According to District Attorney John Tyson Jr., in earlier news accounts, Austin had been arrested in July 2004 and charged with domestic violence. Another child from another marriage, now around 4 years old, was once removed from Austin's care.
The district attorney said that in 2000 that child was taken to a hospital with two broken legs, five broken ribs and a fractured skull.
"We have a tough task ahead of us," Mobile defense attorney Rick Yelverton said later outside court.