Florida parents were booked into the Brevard County Jail on Wednesday, September 25th on charges of attempted murder and aggravated child abuse. They are being held without bond.
“Mr. Williams and Ms. Hylard knowingly and willfully abused the infant. They tried to hide the abuse by using makeup to cover the bruises,” the Orlando Sentinel quoted Detective Julio Gomez in a press release. “Based on the severity of the injuries and the clearly visible nature, the parents should have known that this could have resulted in the infant’s death, yet they failed to seek medical attention. They had no sense of urgency.”
Dexter Williams, 27, and Stephanie Hylard, 26, of Cocoa, Florida, were allegedly playing a video game when their 2 month old daughter ban to cry. Williams is said to have violently shook the baby and to have hit her with a closed fist. Investigators said it is clear that both are accused of having an active part in the abuse suffered by the infant.
Despite the fact that the girl began to have seizures, neither of the parents sought medical attention for five days and when they did, they attempted to cover her bruises with make-up.
Doctors at the Rockledge Regional Medical Center made a call to authorities to report the infant had multiple fractures in her ribs, legs and skull, as well as bleeding in the brain and bruises on her forehead. “She was conscious, but appeared lethargic and weak.”
The infant was transported to an unspecified hospital for specialized treatment. "The child is going to recover, but there may be long-term impact from these injuries, including developmental challenges. It's just sad and tragic all around," Yvonne Martinez, spokeswoman for the Cocoa Police Department was quoted as saying by Florida Today.
The Florida Department of Children and Family Services is also investigating, and has placed the other children that were in the home into state-supervised care.
An incident was also disclosed to police where Williams and Hylard had gotten into an argument. Allegedly Hylard took the infant into a bedroom where she began to cry. Williams went into the room to retrieve the baby, and grabbed her by the chest. Hylard is said to have had the baby's legs, and a tug of war ensued over the infant.
Both Williams and Hylard have appeared before a judge before. In 2014 Williams was charged with domestic battery, and Hylard has 12 previous charges that date back to 2014 including domestic battery, child abuse with great harm, and aggravated assault.