Man accused of murdering girlfriend's infant daughter

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the death of his girlfriend's infant daughter, according to court documents.

Larry Works III, 20, is being charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of child abuse.

On Jan. 20 about 9:30 a.m., Works and his girlfriend transported the 18-month-old girl to Phoenix Baptist Hospital. Medical staff pronounced her dead during treatment and notified the Phoenix Police Department.

Detectives examined the baby's body and observed what appeared to be two burn marks on her left leg, a bite mark on her abdomen, and bruising to her chest and abdomen, according to court documents. Doctors took a chest X-ray but saw no initial signs of fractures.

The child's mother told detectives her daughter appeared healthy when she was put to sleep the night before.

In the morning, the mother reportedly awoke to a cellphone call and gave her still sleeping daughter a pacifier. She then went downstairs to use the restroom in her cousin's apartment because her restroom was out of order, according to court documents.

Five to 10 minutes later, she reportedly returned to the apartment and found her daughter in need of medical attention. She said the baby stopped breathing while en route to the hospital.

At the hospital, Works told officers and family members the baby started crying after her mother left the apartment and he flipped her over, according to court documents.

Works later told police the infant remained asleep and did not cry while in his care. He said he flipped the baby over when his girlfriend returned because she always cried when she saw her mother and was a "cry baby," court records say.

An autopsy conducted by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office determined the infant's injuries were caused by blunt force.

Works was arrested Jan. 28 after he and his girlfriend returned to police headquarters for further questioning.

According to court documents, Works reviewed a photograph from the autopsy and agreed a large amount of force would have been necessary to cause the injury, but provided no explanation.

Police said that after Works was confronted with deceptive polygraph results, he said the baby was injured because she had fallen off the bed.

He is scheduled to appear in Maricopa County Superior Court on Feb. 5.