Police have arrested a 23-year-old man in the Sunday death of a Baton Rouge toddler, a police spokesman said Tuesday.
Randy Parker, 23, was booked on a murder count Monday in the fatal fatally beating of Demarcus Stokes, Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.
Parker hit the almost 2-year-old boy several times in the head, throat and extremities on late Saturday and early Sunday because he wouldn’t sit still for a haircut, McKneely said.
The beating took place in the bathroom of the boy’s home at 2627 Erie St., McKneely said.
The results of an autopsy done on the boy shows he died of blunt force trauma, McKneely said.
Parker, who is not the boy’s father but lived at the boy’s residence, was booked into Parish Prison on a count of first-degree murder.
Additional arrests in Demarcus’ death are pending.
Parker called 911 at 6 a.m. Sunday and said Demarcus was unresponsive and had been breathing irregularly after having been spanked earlier that evening and the previous night, McKneely said.
Police arrived at 2627 Erie St. after being told by paramedics with the East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services that they could not revive the toddler, McKneely said.
The child’s mother told police her son’s breathing was not normal after the spanking and she found him unresponsive at 3 a.m. Sunday. One of the men at the house called 911 three hours later.
The boy’s body was taken to the parish Coroner’s Office, where an autopsy was conducted.
Three other children at the Erie Street home were put under the care of Child Protective Services, McKneely said.
Two of those children, 1-year-old twin girls, were found with diaper rash so bad they were bleeding, McKneely said. A 2-year-old boy seemed to be in good condition. Their relationship to Demarcus is not yet clear, McKneely said.
In addition to the children, police also found several stolen televisions and more than $16,000 in cash stashed throughout the house, McKneely said.
None of the four adults in the house, including the mother of the deceased boy, could explain how the televisions got there, McKneely said.
All of the adults, except the mother, were arrested and booked into Parish Prison on counts of illegal possession of stolen things.
The three adults arrested are: Brandon Tate, 30; Parker, 23; and Kierra Golman, 21, McKneely said. All three live at 2627 Erie St.
One of the men arrested admitted to hitting the child on his legs because the child did not want his hair cut, McKneely said.
The man, who is not the child’s father and whom police are not yet identifying, said the boy was sent to bed in good condition, McKneely said.