Marion police: Abused baby dies; man charged with murder - FOX Carolina 21

Marion police: Abused baby dies; man charged with murder

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Christopher Edwards (Marion Police Dept.) Christopher Edwards (Marion Police Dept.)
MARION, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Police said a baby who was admitted to an Asheville hospital Wednesday, suffering from head trauma, died Friday afternoon. And the man accused of abusing her was charged with murder.

Marion police Lt. Scott Spratt said the investigation began after Buncombe County social workers contacted police about a child abuse case Wednesday. He said the girl, identified as 20-month-old Lily Kerr, of Marion, was admitted to Mission Hospital.

Spratt said in a press release sent to the media Thursday morning that Lily had succumbed to her injuries. However, by the afternoon, police told FOX Carolina that Lily had not died.

According to a statement issued by Marion police Chief Mark Brooks, a doctor at the hospital told Spratt at 10:02 a.m. that Lily had died. He said that about 1 p.m., Spratt was told by officials at the hospital that Lily had not died, but instead was listed in critical condition.

A statement issued by Mission Hospital said Lily appeared to be brain dead when she was admitted. Officials said Lily's family asked that her organs be donated, and doctors performed tests. They said the tests confirmed Lily was brain dead, but shortly after the tests were complete, she took a breath on her own. They said Lily was then placed back on life support.

Brooks said that a doctor at Mission Hospital reported that Lily died about 1 p.m. Friday.

Brooks said that Christopher Edwards, 27, of Marion, was arrested when Lily was admitted to the hospital. He said Edwards was charged with felony intentional child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury, but when officers were told that Lily had died, the charges against Edwards were upgraded to murder. He said that when it was learned that Lily was alive, but in critical condition, the murder charge against Edwards was dismissed.

On Friday, the Edwards was again charged with murder in connection with Lily's death, Brooks said.

Edwards was being held in the McDowell County jail on $200,000 bond, Brooks said.

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