Father arrested after 4-year-old child dies from 'play fighting' injury

Father arrested after 4-year-old child dies from 'play fighting' injury

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A father was arrested for negligent homicide after his 4-year-old son died from an injury that happened while the two were "play fighting."

According to the probable cause report submitted by the Baton Rouge Police Department, the incident happened on November 30.

The report states that Kristopher Carter, 25, brought his 4-year-old child, Marcel Tennie, to the hospital at roughly 7 a.m. The child, Marcel, died shortly after arrival. The coroner says it's possible Tennie sustained injuries to other parts of his body as well.

"Hospital staff advised that they observed what appeared to be bruising on and around the victim's abdomen," states the report.

During an interview, Carter allegedly told the officer that he picked Marcel up from school at roughly 4 p.m. the day before. The report says that Carter noticed that Marcel was acting "strangely."

"The victim later defecated on himself and vomited while at his home," states the report. "The victim refused to eat and slept throughout the rest of the day. The victim developed diarrhea and his condition continued to get worse."

It was when Marcel stopped breathing that Carter took the child to the hospital.

"[Carter] advised that he attempted CPR, but to no avail," states the report. "[Carter] advised that he didn't take the victim to the hospital earlier because the victim advised that he didn't want to go to the hospital."

An autopsy was conducted by the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office. The death was ruled a homicide because Marcel died from a laceration on his small bowel, which was caused by blunt force trauma.

"The witness advised that they observed [Carter] 'play fighting'  with the victim," states the report. "The witness advised that [Carter] was punching on the victim with a closed fist and making the victim punch him back."

During an interview with the child's mother, investigators say she was aware that Carter would "play fight" with Marcel and she has told him not to do that because Carter "would sometimes hit the victim too hard."

The mother also claims she attempted to pick up the child from Carter the night he became ill. She claims Carter insisted on keeping the child overnight.

Investigators arrested Carter and charged him with negligent homicide. He is being held in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison with a bond of $40,000.

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