WASHINGTON — A D.C. man who is accused of killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son appeared in court Thursday on a felony charge of first-degree murder.
James Embre, 24, was arrested and charged earlier this week after the toddler died Tuesday.
According to charging documents made available Thursday, Embre may have been physical with the 2-year-old, even before his death. Embre, however, denies assaulting the young boy and his sibling before his death, but did admit to “physically” disciplining the boy’s sibling previously.
On Tuesday night, D.C. police officers arrived at an apartment on A Street in Southeast to find a woman holding her unconscious and unresponsive 2-year-old son, charging documents said. She was yelling hysterically that her son wasn’t breathing.
Paramedics rushed the toddler, Aceyson Aizim Ahmad, to the hospital, but he soon died from his injuries.
After an autopsy of the child’s body, the chief medical examiner found the cause of death to be multiple blunt force injuries and ruled it a homicide, charging documents said.
“An incredible amount of force was used against this child who prior to the assault was healthy,” according to the documents. The child was possibly “hit multiple times upon or hit against a hard surface or both.”
Initially, Ahmad’s sibling, identified as Victim Two in the charging documents, told police that the 2-year-old had fallen out of a bunk bed, but the medical examiner found that Ahmad’s injuries were not consistent with that story.
Victim Two later revealed that she had seen Embre alone with Ahmad in the room she shared with her sibling. She also said Embre had hit her before telling her to get out and keep his presence in the room a secret from her mother. Victim Two saw Embre hit Ahmad and then saw Embre exiting the room, holding the unconscious 2-year-old.
According to charging documents, Victim Two also said that Embre had hit her and Ahmad before.
Embre’s girlfriend, who is the biological mother of both Ahmad and Victim Two, said that when she saw Embre come home with Ahmad from the day care center earlier, she didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. But months earlier, the woman said she had confronted Embre because he had reportedly hit Victim Two.
Embre, who was living in the apartment with the mother and her two children, said he picked up the 2-year-old from day care on Tuesday and didn’t notice anything unusual about the boy then, charging documents said. The boy had said he was sleepy, so when they got home, Embre put him to bed on the bottom bunk. He then left the room. When Embre came back to the children’s bedroom, he found the 2-year-old face down on the bed, unconscious.
Embre was ordered held pending a preliminary hearing set for May 24.
WTOP’s Mike Murillo and Megan Cloherty contributed to this piece.
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