Man charged with murder after death of 3-year-old
02:42 PM CDT on Thursday, April 1, 2010
By Donna Fielder / Denton Record-Chronicle
Denton County Sheriff’s investigators have charged a man who was supposed to be caring for a 3-year-old Wednesday with capital murder after the child was taken off life support.
Curtis Leon Copeland
Curtis Leon Copeland, 26, remained in the Denton County Jail Thursday in lieu of $500,000 bail on that charge and $25,000 on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in Bowie. He was the boyfriend of the child's mother, according to sheriff’s reports.
Jesse Fleming Fisher Jr. died at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. He had suffered severe head trauma, a broken pelvis, a broken neck, black eyes and bruises all over his body. He also had been sexually assaulted, Denton County Sherriff's Sgt. Roger Griggs said.
Copeland had told investigators the boy fell down the stairs last Friday at his mother’s house but had been playing outside Wednesday after she dropped him off at Copeland’s house north of Krum. She was on her way to a hospital to deliver another baby, and she also left a 1-year-old with Copeland.
Copeland was not the father of any of the children, Griggs said.
Griggs said the child's injuries were not consistent with a fall. He said evidence implicating Copeland in the boy's injuries was found after Copeland reneged on an agreement to take a polygraphy test Wednesday at the sheriff's office.
“When he failed to show up and was not at home, we obtained a search warrant for his house,” Griggs said.
Deputies believed Copeland may have fled to avoid charges but later learned that he was visiting a hospitalized relative. Copeland was arrested as he left the hospital.
Griggs said the child’s mother, a Bowie resident, has not been charged in the case, but the investigation is continuing. Child Protective Services has temporary custody of the mother's two other children.Technorati Tags: death,April,Donna,Fielder,Denton,Record,Chronicle,Sheriff,capital,life,Curtis,Leon,Copeland,Jail,bail,vehicle,Bowie,reports,Jesse,Fisher,trauma,neck,Sherriff,Roger,Griggs,Krum,hospital,father,children,agreement,office,Deputies,investigation,Child,Protective,Services,custody,injuries,investigators