A Florida woman who was caring for a 3-year-old boy mercilessly beat him with a tire iron, following which the toddler died, police said. The boy was brushing his teeth when Te'Lea Jefferson, 23, hit him from behind leaving, the child unresponsive. According to police, Jefferson was the one who also brought the unresponsive boy to the hospital.
However, she tried to mislead the investigators by telling a series of lies but finally admitted to her crime after several rounds of interrogations, authorities said. Jefferson was arrested on Tuesday and has been charged with murder and aggravated battery for the toddler's death.
Killed for No Reason
According to authorities, Jefferson brought the boy to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital emergency room on Tuesday evening with severe trauma to his face and head. She initially told that the boy fell of the sink while brushing his teeth and hit his head on a toilet. The boy was having body temperature of 88 degrees at that time and was pronounced dead six minutes later by the medical staff at the office.
However, medical staff observed the boy had extensive injuries, including severe cuts to his face and hands. He also had bruises on his arms and legs and wasn't matching with the story Jefferson's had told them. Suspecting foul play, medical staff informed officer, who arrived at the scene shortly.
Police started interrogating her and found that her timeline of the events didn't add up to the time of the boy's death. Finally, after a few hours of interrogating, Jefferson admitted that she attacked the boy because he wouldn't stop standing on the sink.
Court record shows that Jefferson threw the tire iron at the boy when he refused to get down from the sink. She also admitted to using the tire iron to hit the child several times, including after he tried to run away after which the boy became unresponsive.
According to police, the boy in all probability had died long before Jefferson reached the hospital. She also reportedly told police that she hid the tire iron outside of the home after hitting the boy several times and she too believed that the boy had died before she drive him to the hospital.
Investigators also said Jefferson admitted to physically punishing the boy before, telling officers he was stubborn and "often required more strikes or blows than his older sibling," the arrest report said. Jefferson lived with the toddler, his 6-year-old brother and one of their parents, court records show. She reportedly told police that she was in a relationship with the victim's parent. She remains in jail without bond at the Leon County Detention Facility, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.