Leader Blues

Thursday, July 03, 2008

TOP STORY > >Man surrenders in childís death

By EILEEN FELDMAN
Leader executive editor

Lekedrin Smith, 30, of 11 Sheila in Sherwood, turned himself in to Jacksonville police on Thursday afternoon. He was wanted on a capital murder charge for the death of 2-year-old Braylon Alexander, who was taken to North Metro Medical Centerís emergency room Monday evening by Smith and the toddlerís mother, Delois Alexander of 1801 Kelly in Jacksonville.

The toddler was transported to Arkan-sas Childrenís Hospital where he died later from multiple head injuries.

Emergency room personnel at North Metro were told that the child had fallen twice outside the Kelly Drive residence from a standing position and that he had vomited between 8 and 9 p.m.

The child had noticeable bruising on his forehead.

Jacksonville Detective Mark Humphries noted that the toddlerís injuries included a handprint on his buttocks, multiple bruises on the forehead and a noticeable knot on the back of his head.

His mother told investigators that her son was fine and appeared in good health when when she woke up for work at 4:30 and when she left for work at 5. She left her son with Smith who later called her reporting that Braylon had fallen and thrown up.

She went home and found Smith holding her son who was unresponsive when she picked him up. She took him to the emergency room at that point.

Humphries and Lt. Martin Cass met Alexander and Smith at Arkansas Childrenís Hospital and advised them of their Miranda rights.

Smith told the officers that Braylon had fallen twice and that he hadnít seen him fall the first time. He said he picked him up and put him on the porch and the child fell backwards off the porch and went limp.

Smith said he picked the child up and shook him as the child was in and out of consciousness.

He said he shook him several more times and the child vomited.

He called the childís mother at that point. The officers noted that Smith changed his story several times and also said he left the residence to go to the store.

He said that he didnít call 911 because he didnít think it was an emergency but Alexander said it was obvious that her sonís condition was an emergency.

The Arkansas Childrenís Hospital physicianís report said the child suffered a closed head injury with subdural hematomas of both front lobes, skull fracture of the parietal and occipital bones, hemorrhages in both eyes and bruising on the buttocks, abrasions on the lower back, and bruises on the upper back (scapula), groin and abdomen.

The examining physician said the severity of the injuries could not be consistent with a fall from standing or a step height even if there had been more than one fall.

One injury in particular indicated a high force injury to the head, the report said.

The physician reported that ďin the absence of a major accidental injury such as a crush injury, these findings were indicative of an inflicted head injury, which could occur by shaking when a caregiver gets frustrated with a child. There was evidence of impact injury to the head as well.Ē