AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin police Friday arrested Nicholas Williams, 22, in connection with a beating that led to the death of his daughter, Alaney Queen, 2 years old.
The arrest affidavit describes severe injuries that Williams allegedly inflicted on the girl.
Police were called to the 800 block of West Slaughter Lane on Monday afternoon on report of a child not breathing. A woman reported the girl possibly had a seizure.
When police and emergency medical services workers responded, Williams was holding the girl. She was unresponsive, and despite efforts to revive her, she was taken to Dell Children's Medical Center and pronounced dead.
According to police, Williams told one officer that he went into the girl's room, she was not breathing and her face had turned purple. He said he had caught her eating her feces and he had lightly spanked her before he put her down for a nap. The suspect told the investigating officer that he noticed the victim's lips were purple when he found her eating her feces, but believed it was because she was crying since she knew she was going to "get a whooping."
During an interview with a second police officer, Williams told a slightly different story, as explained in the affidavit. He said he saw the girl had soiled her diaper. He said he took it off and put in on the floor next to the toilet. He left her there and when he went back into the bathroom, he saw that she was eating her feces. He told the officer he cleaned her up, spanked her about 10 times across her buttocks with a leather belt, then put her down for a nap. Later in the afternoon, he went back into her bedroom, noticed blood and vomit on the bed. She did not respond and was not breathing, he told police.
Police also interviewed the woman, who is Williams' girlfriend, but not Alaney's mother. She told police Williams is the father of her children, however. She told police she did not see any marks on the victim when she gave Alaney a bath on Sunday.
She told police that on Monday afternoon, she and Williams had taken the 2-year-old and another infant on a walk with their dog. She said Williams realized Alaney had dirtied her diaper, so he took her to the bathroom, took off her clothing, sat her on the toilet and told her she was going to be spanked. She said Williams left the bathroom, and when he went back in to check on the child, she heard Williams yell out that the girl was "eating her poop."
The woman looked into the bathroom and saw the child with feces on her hands, arms, face and in her teeth. She left the room as Williams cleaned up the child, she told police, and heard four to six "smacks," but did not see him hitting the child. She heard Williams yell that the girl's lips were purple, she told police.
The affidavit states the woman went into the bathroom, was alarmed at the child's condition, as Alaney's breathing was labored and she was gasping. The woman said she could not heard the girl exhaling when she listened with her ear. She said she splashed water onto the girl's face and Alaney responded. The woman said the toddler was eventually able to eat a small amount of food before being layed down for a nap. She said she periodically checked on Alaney to be sure she was breathing.
The 2-year-old had been sleeping for at most one hour, the woman told police, when Williams checked on her and found her unresponsive.
The woman told police she does not let Williams spank "her children" the same way he spanked the victim because she had seen him on at least five separate occasions hit the victim on the back and arms with a "switch," belt or his hand and she believes this to be excessive. The woman confirmed to police that Williams told her he hit the victim with a belt on Monday afternoon.
Police said Friday the 2-year-old's biological mother was out of state at the time of the child's death.
An autopsy performed on the child Tuesday found a laceration on the back of the girl's head, along with numerous bruises on her head, face, back, buttocks, chest and arms. There was extensive deep soft tissue injury and hemorrhage in the soft tissue and muscle across the entire buttocks, according to the affidavit. The bruising appeared to be recent. She had significant blunt-force trauma, with the greatest in the head and buttock regions, according to the affidavit.
According to the doctor who performed the autopsy, the injuries were bad enough that they could have led to altered mental status, shock and possible seizures. Suffocation cannot be ruled out as a possible cause of death.
Police said five other children lived in the apartment. They were taken into custody by Child Protective Services.
Williams was arrested Friday afternoon. A $40,000 bond was set. He is charged with injury to a child, a first-degree felony.
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