BEDFORD, OH (AP) – A 19-year-old Ohio man has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in the beating death of a 15-month-old girl.
A Bedford Municipal Court judge ordered Tariq Debardeleben held without bond Thursday during his first court appearance. He was charged Wednesday.
Police say Morgan Dillard died of injuries Saturday while Debardeleben babysat her and other children at a Warrensville Heights home.
A police report says Morgan was Debardeleben’s girlfriend’s niece. He told investigators the baby went limp while he dressed her after a bath.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said she died from blunt impact injuries to the head and abdomen and had a fractured skull.
A defense attorney told the judge Thursday that Debardeleben is obtaining his GED and has no history of violent criminal behavior.