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Oklahoma man arrested after girlfriend’s baby dies in his care

DEL CITY, Okla. - A man was arrested Sunday afternoon after his girlfriend’s baby died in his care. He said it was an accident, but police said the baby’s injuries show otherwise.

The mother called 911 as she was arriving home Sunday afternoon. Her boyfriend called her to tell her the baby wasn’t breathing and was unresponsive.

That’s the same state the child was in when emergency crews got there. He was pronounced dead within 30 minutes of their arrival.

The mother told police she was at work while her boyfriend, Phillip Howard, was watching her one-year-old son.

“His story was that he woke up, went to see the child, changed his diaper and was going to take it into the kitchen to feed it,” said Del City Police Maj. Ted Kleber. “Along the way, he trips over a rug, falls to the floor, landing on the baby on the floor.”

Police said the baby had bruising on the left side of his face and a brain bleed on the right side that was consistent with blunt force trauma. The baby’s leg was also broken in three places.

“Not a strike or anything like that, but this is a twisting of the leg,” Kleber said.

Police said they had Howard demonstrate with a fake baby how the fall allegedly happened, and that Howard’s story didn’t match up with the baby’s injuries. They also said Howard was intoxicated at the time.

“We believe this did not happen at the time he said it happened,” Kleber said. “We believe it happened probably a couple hours earlier.”

Howard was arrested on the charge of child neglect resulting in the death of a child.

Police said more charges may be pending.