NEW ORLEANS – A two-year-old Westbank girl died Thursday night from injuries sustained when her mother’s boyfriend tossed her to the floor before violently shaking her, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said.
Cyril Jones, 23, was arrested and charged with two counts of second degree murder after the infant, Darionne Taylor, died at Tulane Hospital six days after the injuries occurred. Taylor also suffered from bite marks.
Jones originally told Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Officers that he was babysitting Taylor and three other children on March 15 when the two-year-old began jumping on a bed before falling off it, hitting her head on the floor, Col. John Fortunato said.
Taylor was taken to Tulane Hospital, where was in critical condition, on a ventilator and unresponsive. Officers were called and began investigating a possible child abuse case.
According to Fortunato, officers were told by the attending physicians that Taylor’s injuries were not consistent with a fall.
Jones, along with Taylor’s mother Devone, were brought in for questioning. Devone Taylor told authorities she had left her daughter as well as nieces and nephews in Jones’ custody while she was at work, Fortunato said.
Fortunato said Jones eventually came clean, telling investigators, “I just clicked out,” before losing his temper with the girl because she was not listening. He admitted to biting her then.
Jones continued, Fortunato said, telling investigators that Darionne Taylor was running around the house and not listening. He said he grabbed the girl and threw her to the floor in the bedroom, where she hit her head.
Jones said he told the child to go to sleep and a short time later, began jumping on the bed, falling to the ground. Jones told investigators he picked her up, only to shake her violently while telling her not to jump on the bed.
At this point, Fortunato said, Jones added that he carried Taylor into the kitchen, where she began to go unconscious. He threw water on the child’s face and she began convulsing. He called 911.
Jones originally was charged and booked with second degree cruelty to a juvenile, but that was upgraded when she died Thursday night.
An autopsy was being performed on Taylor Friday morning to determine exact cause of death.