HOLLADAY, Utah — A man faces two counts of child abuse after his daughter was taken to a hospital with bruises and burns, and the man told police he sometimes becomes “detached” and doesn’t respond to his daughter when she cries, allowing her to become injured in his absence.
According to court documents, Elijah Malykeshabazz Jodejuan, 24, faces two counts of child abuse as second-degree felonies.
The man was arrested after his 4-month-old daughter was taken to a hospital by the girl’s mother to be treated for multiple injuries that included abrasions, contusions and burns. Hospital personnel stated the child had a, “patterned grid burn mark on her forehead” as well as other injuries.
According to a statement of probable cause, the child’s mother said she left the girl with Jodejuan before she went to work on the morning of November 3. Later on November 4, the woman became concerned after receiving strange text messages where Jodejuan allegedly told her everything would turn out all right with the baby.
When the woman returned to the home, Jodejuan refused to answer questions or let her see the baby. He locked himself in a bedroom with the child, and when the mother finally gained entry the man allegedly threw her onto the bed.
The mother eventually managed to get a hold of the child and exit the bedroom, which is when she noticed burns and other injuries to the child’s face. She then took the baby to St. Mark’s Hospital.
Jodejuan was interviewed by police, and post-Miranda he stated he lets himself get detached from the child and won’t immediately respond when he hears her crying. He stated the child can get hurt doing these times and that he feels like, “a complete idiot” for allowing it to happen, according to the PC statement.
The man stated he had placed the baby in a carrier on one side of a counter and a space heater set to 85 degrees on the other side of that counter. He said that while he was showering, the child pulled the cord and drew the space heater toward her.
The man said when he came to check on the child, he saw the heater was stuck to the child and she was, “screaming like bloody murder”, according to the PC statement. The man pulled the heater from the child’s skin, and he said at that time he was frustrated with the child and took it out on her. He said he grabbed the child too hard on her waist and also pushed a bottle into her mouth to feed her, but he admitted he, “held it pretty hard while she was crying.”
Medical personnel reported the child had numerous bruises on various places in her body, including on her face, abdomen and legs, and they stated the cause of the injuries is non-accidental trauma. Jodejuan told police he knows he used too much force, and he agreed that the injuries were caused while the child was in his care and that the injuries could have not been caused by anyone else.