Monday, July 9, 2012

Dad charged with murder in 3-year-old son's death; boy killed during dad's visitation (Memphis, Tennessee)

We've posted on this case several times recently. Hate to ask the obvious, but it appears dad MAURICE BROWN SR. had a history of aggravated assault (he was arrested once, but the charges were dropped.) Was this a domestic violence related issue? Either way, who thought it was a good idea for a man with a history of violence (Dad also got "physical" with the arresting officers) to have prolonged visitation with a 3-year-old child? (Mom lived out of state.)

Father charged with murder in 3-year-old son's death

By Scott Carroll Memphis Commercial Appeal

Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:09 p.m., updated July 6, 2012 at 9:16 p.m.

Maurice Brown, who was initially charged with aggravated child neglect and endangerment of a child, was in jail on a $1 million bond, after the body of 3-year-old Maurice Brown Jr. was discovered Tuesday July 3, 2012.

The father of a 3-year-old boy who was found dead in a South Memphis trash bin on Tuesday has been charged with murder.

Police say the boy's cause of death is consistent with evidence obtained by investigators at the father's apartment.
Maurice Brown Sr., 28, was charged Friday with first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child neglect and first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child abuse in the death of his son Maurice Jr. He was also charged with resisting official detention after police reported that Brown became physical with officers who attempted to obtain his thumbprint and had to be subdued with a chemical agent.

Maurice Jr. was reported missing by his father Sunday night. Brown told officers that he and his son were watching television in the living room of their apartment at 347 S. Pauline when he fell asleep, awaking about 90 minutes later to find the front door open and his son missing, according to a police affidavit. He told police he drove around the area searching for his son before reporting him missing at 10:24 p.m.

A neighbor of Brown's told police that between 7-9 p.m. that night, he saw Brown leaving the apartment with the larger of his two sons draped over his shoulder, according to the affidavit.

A search of the apartment by investigators found blood throughout the bathroom, including on the walls, floor, in a closet and on a white piece of cloth. Homicide investigators believed the blood evidence was consistent with blunt force trauma, according to the affidavit, and that the child sustained "serious bodily injury." The Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Friday that Maurice Jr. was killed by multiple blunt force trauma. The affidavit does not say if a weapon was found at the residence.

The body of Maurice Jr. was found Tuesday afternoon by a Memphis police officer at an abandoned apartment complex at Allen and Butler, 1.6 miles east of Brown's residence.

Brown is scheduled to be arraigned in Shelby County General Sessions Court Monday morning.

He was arrested on Valentine's Day 2010 on an aggravated assault charge, according to court records. That charge was amended to assault causing bodily harm, which was later dismissed.

Shelby County Dist. Att. Gen. Amy Weirich said Friday evening she is unsure if the death penalty will be sought against Brown. State prosecutor Jennifer Nichols is assigned to the case.