Jury trial begins for 18-year-old accused of beating 9-month-old to death
WISHTV Staff Reports – INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The jury trial for an 18-year-old Indianapolis man accused of beating a 9-month-old child to death is scheduled for Monday.
23-year-old Apryl Hammer and her boyfriend Corey Bullock have been charged with murder in the death of Hammer's 9-month-old child, court documents indicate.
The Marion County prosecuted the pair with murder, aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent.
Court documents indicate Hammer and Bullock were caring for 9-month-old Aiva McGee in an apartment without electricity. Bullock would look after the baby while Hammer worked at Denny's, and he also cared for the child during a handful of days with Hammer was in the Marion County Jail for a different crime. Although multiple people connected to the child told investigators they saw the baby with bruises at various points, nobody called 911 until the child stopped breathing.
Aiva was rushed to the hospital on Sept. 30 after Bullock's mother called 911 when Bullock called her about the baby. She was taken off of life support on Oct. 2 and pronounced dead. A preliminary autopsy and information from doctors indicate the baby was beaten all over, causing her death, according to court documents. She had head injuries and three ribs that healed after previously being bruised. Doctors said Aiva's injuries couldn't have been caused on her own, despite Bullock regularly telling investigators that the baby's injuries were caused by her hitting her head on a crib or falling on her own.
Hammer and Bullock were arrested in Tennessee.
Hammer is accused of creating distance between Aiva and Aiva's father months before the little girl died. According to Anni McGee, Aiva's aunt, Hammer refused to grant visitation to the father's side of the family.
"She stopped allowing anyone on my side of the family to see her — my sisters, my aunt, my brother," said McGee. "She used the excuse that she didn't have a phone so she couldn't be contacted."
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry urged anyone who notices abuse to contact police. He said Aiva's death could have been prevented if someone spoke up.
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