After his girlfriend's daughter died while in his care, a Hartford teenager was charged in connection with the toddler's death, and faced a judge for the first time Friday.
Police said the 13-month-old girl, identified as Tyasia Allen, was in cardiac arrest when David Brown-Barrett, 19, showed up at Saint Francis Hospital. Doctors said they did all they could to save Allen, but it was too late.
Brown-Barrett was originally charged with first-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor. He was arraigned at Hartford Superior Court Friday and following his appearance, he is being held on a $1 million bond.
The autopsy by the Chief Medical Examiner's Office ruled Allen's manner of death as "homicide" by "blunt impact," Hartford police Lt. Brian Foley said.
Brown-Barrett confessed to police that he hit the whining child in the stomach "after losing his patience with her."
"He is a murderer. He killed my niece," Crystal Faust, who is the baby's grandmother. "He deserves to go to jail."
Brown-Barrett initially told medical staff and police that Allen fell off the bed and "had foam come out of her mouth."
However, medical staff at the hospital told police that the marks on the child "were consistent with trauma caused possibly by a fist."
The baby's mother, Demi Henry, was in school at the time of the incident. Her lawyer told Eyewitness News that she's "too distraught" to be at the court proceedings.
"Why she got bruises in her face and swollen leg," Faust said. "Both legs were swollen."
Court documents also show Brown-Barrett, who is a senior at Hartford Journalism and Media Academy, and Henry were in a relationship for about a year and lived together at his mother's house.
According to the arrest warrant, the hospital medical staff told police that the baby had a rectal temperature of 93 degrees, which is below the normal of 98.7 degrees, and it indicated that the child had been dead for some time.
When Brown-Barrett heard the news, police said he "got angry" and punched the walls at the hospital.
Major Crimes detectives and Hartford police spent hours on Middlefield Street at the North End home of Brown-Barrett, after the child's death.
Brown-Barrett had his case continued until Sept. 27.
Following the court appearance, tempers flared up and security had to separate the two families.
"At the end of the day God gonna see the rest of the story no doubt, at the end of the day," said one family member.
The baby's death is now considered a homicide, so the charges against Brown-Barrett, who was previously arrested for larceny and burglary, are expected to be upgraded.
The baby's father, Tyrell Allen, was also the victim of a homicide. He was killed in 2011 and as of Friday, his murder remains unsolved.
As for neighbors, hearing about the child's death is heartbreaking.
"Anytime something happens to a child, you feel like you've been stabbed in the heart," one resident said.
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