A Florida man reportedly told police that he fatally beat his 6-month-old daughter because he was “highly stressed” after losing power during Hurricane Irma.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Dekari Castell, 22, was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse in connection with the beating death of his daughter, Kahi. Castell allegedly told officers that he struck the baby twice in the head because she wouldn’t stop crying.
Kahi’s mother called 911 on September 13 after finding the baby not breathing. The 6-month-old was hospitalized with a skull fracture and died the following day.
Castell supposedly provided police with varying accounts during numerous interviews. WFTV reported that he originally denied hurting the baby but later claimed that he dropped her on her head when she slipped out of his grasp.
During a third interrogation, Castell allegedly admitted that he was stressed from losing power during the hurricane and that he punched Kahi to get her to stop crying. However, he allegedly stated during a fourth interview that he was lying down when he threw the infant in the air and she hit a baseboard three feet away.
A police report indicated that Castell was the center of a Department of Children and Families (DCF) investigation in September 2016. At the time, his 4-week-old son was hospitalized for a broken femur bone. Castell claimed the baby slipped out of his arms and he had grabbed his leg to prevent the fall, resulting in the injury. Investigators said charges were never filed against the father due to a lack of probable cause.
The local station noted that the deadly incident occurred in the same home that accused cop killer Markeith Loyd was found hiding in months prior. Castell’s mother moved into the Orange County residence within six months following Loyd’s arrest.
The 22-year-old is being held without bond.
[Featured Image: Orange County Sheriff’s Office]