Police: Woman slammed child's head into faucet in anger
Thu, 23 May 2013 12:51:12 GMT —
COLUMBIA (WACH / AP) -- A 34-year-old woman is accused of killing a toddler in a fit of anger last Friday.
Columbia police announced the arrest of Margie R. Hamm in a news conference Thursday morning. She is charged with homicide by child abuse.
Authorities say Hamm slammed 2-year-old Jayon Wilson Turnipseed's head into a bathtub faucet while she was babysitting him May 18. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts says the boy was having trouble breathing, but Hamm told authorities she put him to bed anyway.
According to police, Hamm was the primary caregiver of the child and two other children at the time of the incident.
Watts says the toddler's mother was killed in a car crash about 10 months ago.
The boy's father got home late from work and found his son unresponsive the next morning.
Emergency workers found no obvious injuries, but Watts said he saw a mark near the boy's nose.
Hamm told police the boy had run into a door.
Hamm contacted police to provide a statement on Wednesday. She was jailed Thursday.
Interim Chief Santiago says, â??This is an absolutely heartbreaking case. Children are supposed to be smiling, laughing, and playing. They are not supposed to fear that they could be injured or killed by someone who is supposed to love and care for them.â??
Police believe the motive for the incident was anger.
Authorities say there have been 25 cases related to child abuse and neglect this year. There were 73 cases last year.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)