South Jersey Man slapped 3-year-old down stairs, lied about how she died
GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP — A man charged with the death of a 3-year-old girl has admitted to slapping her across the face when she refused to take a nap, knocking her down the stairs and causing her death.
Travis Graham, 23, initially told investigators in March 2017 he was taking care of Charlette Dawkins and heard her fall, according to Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colallio. He said he caught her before she hit the bottom of the stairs, but could not wake her and brought her to a hospital.
Doctors noted that the child had multiple bruises to her body, extremities and head, as well as multiple healing rib fractures, according to the prosecutor's office.
Graham admitted more than a year later he and the girl were standing at the top of the stairs and he hit her with the back of his hand, which knocked her down the steps, according to prosecutors.
He was initially charged with one count of first-degree murder and endangering the welfare of a child. He pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in a plea deal.
Prosecutors told NJ.com that Graham changed his story in August 2018 when he was arrested for several armed robberies.
The Camden County Prosecutor's Office told NJ.com it will recommend a 30 year prison sentence for Graham.