Detectives upgrade charge against father after infant dies from blunt force injuries

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Investigators have upgraded the charge against a man whose baby died Saturday.

The Baton Rouge Police Department reported John Hope, 28, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 4-month-old daughter, Josephine Hope. He was re-booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Tuesday.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office said the infant died of blunt force injuries to her head and neck.

Hope was originally booked on a charge of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile after the baby arrived at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital with life-threatening injuries Wednesday night. The child showed no signs of brain activity.

Doctors contacted detectives and reportedly advised them the infant had three skull fractures, bruising on the face and neck, blood in the whites of both eyes, blood in her mouth and multiple rib fractures that were healing. Investigators were told that the parents claimed the baby had fallen off of a changing table.

The mother told detectives the baby was fine when they put her to bed Tuesday night. Detectives said when she woke up the next morning, Hope was holding the baby and stated the infant had fallen from the changing table. The mother was not charged.

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