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Man arrested for capital murder in death of toddler in Tuscaloosa

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 3:17 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2021 at 4:12 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Authorities have arrested a man and charged him with capital murder in the death of an 18 month old in Tuscaloosa.

Authorities say at 3 a.m. on Friday, a toddler was taken to the hospital after reports of the child not breathing, and while the toddler regained a pulse and some breathing, lifesaving efforts sadly failed. Investigators then began looking into possible child abuse or neglect, bringing in the child’s parent and parent’s live-in boyfriend.

Preliminary autopsy reports showed the child suffered extensive injuries. The medical examiner determined the child died from blunt force trauma and internal bleeding. The child’s death was ruled a homicide.

Authorities say 28-year-old Joseph Earl Jenkins was arrested and charged with capital murder. He was committed to jail with no bond.

Court documents show that Jenkins Jr. was questioned and stated he checked on the child after hearing her crying in her crib. He said he rocked her to sleep and put her back in her crib. Jenkins Jr. said he went back to check on the child and found her unresponsive. Based on his statement, Jenkins Jr. was the only person to have control of the child during the time she was injured.

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