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Baton Rouge man arrested in death of 3-month-old infant

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 5:01 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge man has been arrested in connection with the death of a three-month-old infant, according to arrest records.

First responders were dispatched to the 8900 block of Thelma Street on Aug. 14 to a report of unresponsive child.

EMS paramedics were able revive the child before the ambulance reached an area hospital. Medical personnel at the hospital determined the child had suffered severe brain injuries and had fairly fresh burn marks to his chest and stomach that resembled cigarette burns, according to arrest records.

The baby also had suffered traumatic rib fractures in various stages of healing.

According to arrest records, when officers initially interviewed Leon Arnold, 36, of Baton Rouge, he said he was the one who put the baby down for a nap and the one who attempted to awake the baby from the nap. Police say Leon also told investigators the baby was laid down on his stomach and that when he went to awake the baby, the child had spit up milk.

Investigators say the child later died and an autopsy was conducted on Wednesday, Aug. 18 and a pathologist determined the manner of the child’s death was a homicide.

The pathologist said the baby’s injuries were consistent with being beaten or the baby’s lower body being struck against a hard object, arrest records say.

Officers say they arrested Arnold on Thursday, Aug. 19 on the charge of first-degree murder because the child was in his care when he went unresponsive.

Police say Arnold was previously charged in 2010 with second-degree cruelty to juveniles when the defendant’s one-month old baby suffered a broken femur and skull fractures.

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