UPDATE

Police: 3-year-old in child-abuse case has died; mother's boyfriend arrested

Posted: Updated:
Sidney Michael Landers, 33 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Sidney Michael Landers, 33 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Sidney Landers did not say anything during his initial court appearance, standing quietly with his arms crossed tightly in front of him. (Source: Maricopa County Superior Court) Sidney Landers did not say anything during his initial court appearance, standing quietly with his arms crossed tightly in front of him. (Source: Maricopa County Superior Court)
Sidney Michael Landers, 33 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Sidney Michael Landers, 33 (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A 3-year-old Phoenix girl who had been fighting for her life has died and police say her mother’s boyfriend is to blame because he got “frustrated” with the toddler.

Officers arrested Sidney Michael Landers, 33, on suspicion of child abuse Monday morning. That charge will likely change now that the little girl has died. According to Landers’ court paperwork, doctors at Phoenix Children’s Hospital told police the child was on life support and her prognosis was not good.

According to the toddler’s mother, Landers was out and about with the girl “for the majority of the day” Sunday.

When he and the girl arrived home, the mother noticed her daughter had some swelling near her mouth and cheek that had not been there earlier in the day.

“When the defendant was questioned about the injury he did not provide a reasonable explanation,” according to the probable cause for arrest statement.

The mom took her little girl to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The staff found “multiple bruises on the front and back of her torso” and “multiple broken ribs.”

According to court documents, Landers told police he was “frustrated” because the child “had several accidents in her pants and would not sit still when he cleaned her.”

“The defendant stated he held his hand over the victim’s mouth when she was screaming during her diaper change,” the arresting officer wrote in his report. “The defendant stated he had to use force to hold the victim to change her diaper …. The defendant stated he did not mean to cause the injuries but was frustrated.”

Police said Landers is from out of state and tried to run when officers showed up at his home to arrest him.

According to his court paperwork, Landers is the subject of an “active” order of protection. No details were immediately available. Those documents also indicate a prior arrest, but the information was redacted before the paperwork was released to Arizona’s Family.

It’s not clear how long Landers and the victim’s mother have lived together, nor do we know if he has any history of alleged child abuse.

Landers did not say anything during his initial court appearance, standing quietly before the commissioner with his arms crossed tightly in front of him.

[WATCH: Sidney Landers' initial court appearance]

“The in-house prosecutor was informed by the investigating detectives that the alleged victim is not expected to survive and that the hospital staff stated that the injuries alleged were not at all consistent with an accident," Commissioner Jane McLaughlin said during the proceeding, which happened while the child was still on life support. "The court believes that you may well face a murder charge in this case."

The little girl was pronounced dead Wednesday, according to the Phoenix Police Department.

"Phoenix Police will be recommending Homicide charges against the suspect, Sidney Landers," Sgt. Vince Lewis of the Phoenix Police Department said in an email update about the case Wednesday evening.

McLaughlin set a secured appearance bond of $150,000. Should he post and be released, Landers will be subjected to electronic monitoring supervision by Pretrial Services.

He also is not permitted to have contact with any children.

"Because of the injuries alleged and the intentional nature of them, the court believes that you could pose a substantial risk of danger to any children," McLaughlin explained to him.

Landers is due back in court for a status conference on Dec. 18, and then a preliminary hearing on Dec. 21.


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