An Arizona couple is behind bars after police discovered an unresponsive toddler in their home in Glendale Tuesday morning, who was later pronounced dead.
Shortly after 10 a.m., law enforcement received a call from a residence near 60th Avenue and Golden Lane. The caller, identified as Johnny Brazell II, 20, reported that his stepson was unresponsive, without a pulse, and not breathing.
According to Brazell’s account to the 911 dispatcher, the boy had suffered a dog attack earlier that day, resulting in a laceration and a bump on his head. First responders arrived at the scene within minutes and administered CPR. Despite their efforts, the boy was pronounced dead at an area hospital, AZ Family reports.
Upon investigation, detectives discovered that the boy had extensive bruising throughout his body, including his eyes and head. They also observed a conspicuous skull fracture which appeared to be indicative of child abuse.
ABC 4 reports that the child’s mother, Leilah Lopez, is accused of giving inconsistent statements about the alleged dog attack. Both Brazell and Lopez were subsequently arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
Police said Brazell later admitted to hitting the victim with a belt “while dangling him in the air by his leg,” before dropping him on his head. Police added that the suspect waited until the baby stopped breathing before calling 911. They’re both accused of planning out their lies before seeking help.
An arrest affidavit indicated that detectives overheard Brazell admit to Lopez that he killed the victim and that “the story we talked about didn’t work.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as additional information becomes available.
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[Feature Photo: Police Handout]