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Couple accused of child abuse; 1 yr old dies

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Posted at 4:49 PM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 17:49:37-05

TULSA – A 1-year-old baby passed away Thursday after being on life support for injuries sustained while in the care of its mother’s alleged boyfriend.

Official documents show that the baby was brought into the pediatric intensive care unit with multiple injuries including two black eyes and contusions.

Police confirmed Thursday that the baby was taken off of life support and passed away around 3:04 p.m.

Tulsa police were called to Parkview Terrace Apartments Dec. 1st to investigate reports of an unresponsive infant.

According to Tulsa police, the infant was placed in the care of Nathanial Watkins, 25, who was identified by the mother, 21-year-old Hallelujah Brookens, as her boyfriend.

Watkins told police that the baby was in her crib and crying so he “violently” shook her and she went limp. He then said he panicked and put the baby into a cold bath to revive her. When that did not work, Watkins told police, he left the baby in the bath alone and went to get a towel but returned to find the baby still unresponsive. He then kept pouring water on the baby’s face and “panicked” when it did not work.

After taking the infant out of the bath, Watkins told police, he dressed her and placed her on the couch. According to police, Watkins said the baby was found on the floor near the couch “gasping for air.” Watkins then grabbed the baby again and “dropped” her in her crib to run next door and call for help.

Watkins was arrested on complaint of child abuse by injury.

Brookens was arrested on complaint of permitting child abuse by injury. Police say she explained that “she feels this is all her fault” because she left the baby with Watkins. The mother also said she didn’t trust Watkins but that she left the baby with him because she did not have a daycare.

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