Emersyn was only 4 months old, her dad, Cory Morris, is charged with punching her to death pic.twitter.com/t7mlaI68rM
— Beth McDonough (@bmcdonoughkstp) August 16, 2016
Cory Morris was home with the baby over the weekend, he told investigators.
His girlfriend had gone to work and Morris was watching television.
Then, the 4-month-old child, a girl named Emersyn, started to make some noises. Morris described it as baby talk in his interview with authorities, according to a criminal complaint.
The Minneapolis father said he took Emersyn out of her swing, carried her into her room and placed her on a changing table.
But Emersyn kept making noises, Morris later told authorities.
So to quiet her down, Morris began to punch the baby.
“He admitted he punched her approximately fifteen times in the face with a closed fist,” the documents state. “He stated he punched her approximately seven times in the chest with a closed fist. Defendant admitted squeezing her chest with both hands.”
Emersyn was later pronounced dead.
And now Morris, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his baby daughter.
“None of us can comprehend what this is all about,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said at a news conference Tuesday. “And I’m a proud father of five and a grandfather of two. There’s nothing more important in my life than my children and my grandchildren. What is this? Why? Frankly, right now, we don’t know.”
Freeman said there were “suggestions” of mental health issues, which would be evaluated.
“But right now, we have charged him with second-degree intentional murder,” Freeman told reporters. “And we’re just sad.”
Authorities responded to a Minneapolis home after a man called 911 and said he had killed his baby, according to the probable-cause statement. Emersyn was unconscious when police arrived. She was covered in blood.
“The firefighters were the first to arrive to the residence and they found the baby on the changing station, lying in a pool of blood,” reads the probable-cause statement. “Officers observed the blood spatter all over the wall and floor near the changing station in the baby’s room.”
Morris was taken into custody and said he had repeatedly hit the baby.
“His clothing, hands and arms were covered in dried blood and officers observed swelling to his right hand,” the complaint notes.
Emersyn was rushed to a hospital but died from blunt force trauma.
Morris’s girlfriend told investigators that he watched the child about three to four times a week, while she is at work. She “stated Defendant can go from happy to mad easily” and had thrown things in the past, according to the documents.
His mother, Ginny Morris, told the Star Tribune that her son had recently seen a therapist but wasn’t previously violent. She said that in the past, the family had trouble getting Morris help.
“We never thought he would hurt the baby. We would never allow him to be with the baby if that was the case,” Ginny Morris told the newspaper. “We were worried he was going to hurt himself, not the baby.”
The Star Tribune reports:
Family members say that although they’d long been trying to get Morris psychological help, he never showed violent tendencies, and it was typical for him to watch the baby on his own. After police arrived and spoke with Morris, Freeman said, the father expressed no remorse. He would later tell law enforcement that he was schizophrenic and heard voices.
Freeman said a full psychological evaluation on Morris will be completed but that his depiction of his state of mind has since changed.
“There’s all sorts of different stories from him,” he said.
A message left with Morris’s attorney was not immediately returned.
Freeman said at the news conference that Morris called his girlfriend and his mother after the fatal incident and indicated that he had done something wrong, but he didn’t tell them that the baby might be dead.
“She’s shocked,” Freeman said, when asked about Emersyn’s mother.