After their infant boy died earlier this week from a variety of head wounds, the parents of an 8-month-old son in Texas are now in jail, according to officials. On Tuesday, Kameron Gammage and Leyla Grace Pierson were both arrested and charged with crimes in association with the tragic murder of their baby.
Gammage, 23, is suspected of causing the fatal injuries on the little kid and is charged with one count of harm to a minor with intent to provoke severe bodily damage, a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison. He reportedly acknowledged having “strong anger issues.” Gammage reportedly admitted to the officials that he “lately strangled two dogs to death.”
The charge of criminal negligence damage to a child against Pierson, 18, carries a maximum two-year prison sentence and is a state jail felony.
Authorities from the Odessa Police Department came to Gammage and Pierson’s house on Tuesday about 12:52 p.m. in response to a call for medical help, as per a probable cause arrest affidavit. According to the officials, the parents reside at the Brady Station Apartment Complex, which is situated in the 4200 block of East 52nd Street. The caller informed the 911 dispatcher that there was an unresponsive baby in the unit.
First responders arrived on the scene and discovered the pair’s kid dead inside the apartment.
According to the police affidavit, “the lifeless newborn exhibited severe bruising swelling to the left side of his face and head.” Along the lifeless infant’s cranium’s top, there were several minor injuries as well.
Pierson told investigators that she nursed the infant at around 5 a.m. that morning and then went back to sleep. When she awakened about midday, the infant was not breathing. Gammage “seemed unconcerned” and “took many minutes to get up and help,” according to her, after which she “desperately” tried to wake him. Pierson said that Gammage continued to “seem indifferent” when he eventually approached her to offer assistance.
Gammage contacted 911 and started CPR as directed by the 911 dispatcher in line with Pierson’s instructions, but they were unable to rescue the infant. Pierson said that shortly after calling 911, Gammage “felt sorry toward her and told her he wished she wasn’t upset at him.”
According to Pierson, Gammage “has serious rage issues and has lately murdered many pets by strangling,” according to police reports.
Investigators noticed that Gammage appeared uncaring at the scene of the child’s death, noting that he stayed emotionless and seemed to lack empathy for the tragedy during interaction. After that, the parents were taken to the police station for further interrogation.
Gammage reportedly informed authorities during a subsequent interrogation at the station that he last saw his kid alive between 5:30 and 6 a.m. that morning, just before he too went back to sleep. Gammage is accused of telling police that the baby’s head injuries were caused by “the newborn striking his head on a hard section of the interior of the cot” when they questioned him about them.
According to the police affidavit, during a second interview with Gammage, “he stated that he does have serious anger issues and has been coping with a great deal of stress recently, with the child regularly wailing.” Gammage said that he recently killed two dogs by strangulation and made an effort to get rid of their remains in order to stay out of jail.
Gammage additionally acknowledged that on the evening of July 9, three days before his son’s passing, at around 10 p.m., he awoke to the sound of his son sobbing. The affidavit adds that Gammage was “frustrated” that the baby “would not stop wailing” when he tried to play with the kid and “started tossing the newborn in the air then catching him.”
“After roughly the fourth toss, Gammage said he “accidentally” dropped the baby, causing the child to land on his left side. The document indicates that Gammage “said the baby hit the floor ‘hard’ as he fell. Gammage claimed that following that, the infant’s face and head started to bruise and swell, but he withheld this information from Pierson out of fear of repercussions. When Gammage discovered the newborn dead this morning, his first impression was that he had murdered his child because the baby had started acting strangely over the previous few days.
According to reports, Pierson acknowledged seeing her son’s wounds and observing how the infant got increasingly “fussy” in the days that followed, but claimed she chose not to seek medical assistance since she believed the youngster was simply teething.
Gammage was charged with one count of sexual assault against a minor in addition to the accusations related to his son’s murder.
A grand jury in Andrews County indicted Gammage on the allegation of sexual assault on May 19, according to a report. A warrant was then issued for Gammage’s arrest. According to reports, the incident involved a 15-year-old victim and happened between 2019 and 2020.
According to jail records, Pierson’s bond was set at $5,000, while Gammage’s was placed at $350,000.