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Toddler Dies Due To Suspicious Injuries; Father Charged With First-Degree Murder

FORT SMITH (KFSM) —  A 2-year-old boy, who was taken to the emergency room of Mercy Hospital, later died at the hospital Saturday (Sept. 23) morning, according to Fort Smith police. His father, Terrell Powell, has been charged with first-degree murder, prosecuting attorney Dan Shue said.

The police went to  Mercy Hospital regarding a child who was brought to the emergency room by ambulance with suspicious injuries. Officers discovered the child had what appeared to be minor visible injuries to the left side of the face, according to police. They said officers were also informed by hospital personnel the child’s brain was bleeding.  The boy was later pronounced deceased.

A police investigation reveals that the child was at home with his father, Terrell Powell, 32, and his 3-year-old sister.  Earlier in the morning, the father told police his son had been crying and having trouble sleeping.   Powell told investigators the child appeared lethargic and wasn’t breathing normally, according to the report. The report states he carried the child around the home and waited for his wife to come home from working the night shift.  The mother of the child, Amanda Powell, 28, arrived home just after 6 a.m.  EMS was then called to the home located in the 9700 block of Haven Boulevard.  Both the child and mother were transported to the hospital, according to the report.

Investigators interviewed Powell, and at the conclusion of interviews, placed him under arrest on suspicion of Domestic Battery First Degree.  He was being held at the Sebastian County Detention Center without bond. He was charged with first-degree murder on Thursday (Sept. 28).

The child’s body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy.