Monday, November 26, 2012

Babysitting dad charged in death of 4-month-old son; cops say he bit and abused him (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

Yet another case where Daddy was "caretaking" while Mom worked. Notice that Daddy had an extensive criminal record, admits that he bit and "dropped" the baby, and yet he STILL isn't being charged with murder.

Dad is identified as TAHJ ONEAL LOCKETT.

Police: Dad bit, abused, dropped baby 4-month-old baby found not breathing on Nov. 19

Updated: Monday, 26 Nov 2012, 10:59 PM EST
Published : Monday, 26 Nov 2012, 9:22 PM EST

By Dani Carlson

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) - Court testimony shows what led police to charge a Kalamazoo Township man following the death of his 4-month-old son.

Tahj Oneal Lockett remains in the Kalamazoo County Jail facing a charge of first-degree child abuse in the death of the son who shared his name.

In a probable cause hearing, police gave a judge a glimpse into their case against baby Tahj's father, detailing what they believe happened in the moments before the infant died.

The testimony alleges a horrible story of abuse and accidents. Even Judge Julie Phillips -- a judge who hears cases all the time -- was moved by the details of of the baby's death.

"I find probable cause," she told the testifying officer at the end of the testimony. "That's so sad."

An autopsy on the 4-month-old Tahj revealed extended abuse.

"The pathologist reports bruises upon bruises upon bruises," a Kalamazoo Township officer told the judge.

And police said it appears that Tahj Lockett Sr. caused those injuries.

"He does admit that he bit his son over and over throughout his son's body," the officer said.

The 20-year-old was charged last week with intentionally abusing the baby in the Kalamazoo Township apartment he shared with the boy's mother. Lockett was home alone with the child all night while the boy's mom was at work. 

"He also admits that he dropped his son, while holding onto him with one arm, in the bathroom and believes that his son may have struck his head on the toilet," the officer said to the judge.

When the boy's mom came home on Nov. 19, she found baby Tahj not breathing. His father left the home before police arrived on scene.

When police were able to talk with him, the officer said, he admitted to being under the influence of drugs.

"He did admit that he had been smoking marijuana all day and uses marijuana to self-medicate as he claims that he has mental issues," the officer said.

Lockett is not charged with murder. Police said they are waiting on the results on toxicology and other tests before other charges may come.

Lockett does have an extensive criminal history dating back to when he was 13 years old.

He is scheduled to be back in court Dec. 4 for a preliminary hearing.