48-Year-Old Mother Was Arrested Over The Killing Of Her Infant Daughter By Her 19-Year-Old Boyfriend

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A 48-year-old mother has now been charged after her live-in boyfriend admitted to shaking and stepping on the infant, Seneca Police Chief John Covington said.

Covington said the infant suffered multiple skull fractures, a broken collarbone, a broken arm, a fractured eye socket, a fractured femur and a spinal cord injury, and is currently at Greenville Health System. Whitney Barnwell is the mother of the infant and two other children. She is charged with three counts of unlawful conduct toward a child, Covington said. More after the cut….. 

Barnwell’s boyfriend, Leroy L. Morris, 19, was charged Wednesday night with unlawful conduct toward a child, and with inflicting great bodily injury upon the infant, Covington said. Morris admitted to investigators that he accidentally dropped the child on her head and stepped on her on Christmas Eve after he drank and used illegal drugs while caring for the child, the police chief said.

Morris also admitted that he was frustrated at the child’s crying and shook and threw her, Covington said. Covington said Morris routinely kept the child while Barnwell worked. Barnwell told investigators that when she came home from work she noticed swelling on her daughter’s head and a black eye so she took her to the hospital in Seneca. It was the Hospital staff that called the police Immediately.

Barnwell said her daughter was later transferred to Greenville and had no details on how her daughter got the injuries, according to Covington. The Department of Social Services is also investigating. Morris’ bond was denied Thursday. Barnwell’s bond was set at $75,000, Seneca Police said.