405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Child Abuse Charge Upgraded to Murder after Infant Dies

03-Oct-2016

A Tulsa father has been charged with first degree murder after his 3-month-old daughter died of injuries consistent with child abuse. 

Reports say Kentrell Thomas, 22, was arrested last week on a felony child neglect complaint after a doctor notified police that an infant had been brought to the Thursday afternoon. The child's mother told the doctor that her baby had rolled off of a bed the week prior, but that she seemed fine after a short crying spell. However, on Thursday morning, the mother says, she noticed that the baby's head appeared swollen and that her arms and legs "tensed up" as if the baby were having seizure.

The doctor examined the baby and allegedly found evidence of severe abuse that was not consistent with the mother's story, and police arrested Thomas, the baby's father.

The infant succumbed to her injuries and died over the weekend. Since her death, the complaint against Thomas has been upgraded to first degree murder. 

State law in 21 O.S. § 843.5 outlines the penalties for child abuse. Section A of the statue says that anyone who "willfully or maliciously" engages in child abuse is guilty of a felony punishable by a maximum of life in prison. Likewise, someone convicted of enabling child abuse, or failure to protect a child from abuse, faces a lifetime prison sentence.

If a child dies of injuries from abuse, then the person who harmed the child will be charged with first degree murder, regardless of intent to take the child's life.

In 21 O.S. § 701.7, Oklahoma law lists several acts of homicide that qualify as first degree murder. One of the most commonly known definitions of first degree murder includes "malice aforethought"--or the intentional, premeditated killing of another person. However, there are a few circumstances under which a person may be charged with first degree murder without having premeditation or intent to take another's life. One of these is felony murder, in which a person is charged with first degree murder if someone dies in the commission of a specified violent felony. The other is child abuse murder, in which a child dies from injuries sustained in abuse.

Both first degree murder and child abuse are "85 Percent Crimes." These are violent crimes and sex offenses specified in 21 O.S. § 13.1 that require a person convicted to serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Click here to learn more.



All News

More News

Teen Who Urged Boyfriend to Commit Suicide Convicted of Manslaughter
19-Jun-2017

In July 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III attempted to take his own..

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Warrantless Cell Phone Location Search Violates Fourth Amendment
12-Jun-2017

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that cou..

Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Stabbing Death of Roommate
09-Jun-2017

A 72-year-old man is ordered to spend four years in prison after s..

Trial Delayed for Second Brother in Broken Arrow Quintuple Murder
29-May-2017

Shortly before midnight on July 22, 2015, police in Broken Arrow r..

Criminal Appeals Court Upholds Death Sentence for Triple-Murderer
26-May-2017

For the second time, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has af..

Poorly written bill leaves lawsuit loophole; Governor signs anyway
22-May-2017

When drafting legislation, it is imperative that language is clear..

Not Guilty Verdict in Tulsa Police Shooting; Officer's Job Status under Evaluation
19-May-2017

After nine hours of deliberation, a jury returned a verdict o..

Man Exonerated in Rape Case Awarded Compensation
15-May-2017

An Oklahoma man who was exonerated of rape after spending 13 years..

Trial Begins in Tulsa Police Shooting Case
08-May-2017

Jury selection begins today in the manslaughter case of Tulsa poli..

Oklahoma Death Penalty Remains on Hiatus
05-May-2017

It has been almost exactly three years since the botched execution..

×