OKC man charged with murder in death of 8-month-old girl
An Oklahoma City man was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the death of an 8-month-old girl he was supposed to be caring for.
Just before 12:50 p.m. on July 1, police responded to a check welfare call at a home in 5000 block of Crosby Drive. At the scene, officers found Amilia Grace Tuell on her back in the mobile home and unresponsive, according to a court affidavit.
Amilia was taken to The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center where she underwent surgery that removed a section of her skull to relieve pressure from brain swelling.
A doctor at the hospital told investigators that the child suffered numerous spine injuries, a lacerated liver and an injured pancreas. The doctor said the injuries Amilia sustained were consistent with “non-accidental trauma” and “physical abuse.”
Investigators spoke with Amilia’s mother who said she had left the home about 11:30 a.m. to walk to a nearby store and her “live-in boyfriend” Michael Lee Bradley, 22, was the sole caretaker of the child while she was away.
Bradley told investigators he was sleeping in his bedroom when Amilia’s mother told him she was going to the store and that the girl was playing in her bedroom. He said he went and checked on the girl, who he said was in good health then went back to his room to go back to sleep, according to the affidavit.
After waking up, Bradley said he went back to the room and saw Amilia “slumped over to the floor and lying face down.” He said he picked her up and noticed she was limp and that as he raised her higher her head “went straight back and bobbed.”
He told investigators he was attempting to leave the room with Amilia in his arms when he tripped over a baby gate and dropped the girl on the floor and that he might have fallen on top of the girl with his lower body or legs.
While maintaining that what happened was an accident, Bradley told investigators that he and Amilia’s mother had been arguing earlier “about the children and said he was really mad.” When he’s really mad, he would “black out,” Bradley told investigators, adding if he did anything to the girl he didn’t remember doing it.
A doctor at the hospital told an investigator that the injuries suffered were not consistent with the story Bradley told and that her injuries would have been immediately symptomatic.
He was charged Tuesday in Oklahoma County District Court with one count of first-degree murder. He is being held without bail at the Oklahoma County jail.