Guthrie Couple Faces First Degree Murder Charges In 13-Month-Old's Death
A child is dead, and his mother and her boyfriend are in jail following an investigation in Guthrie.
Both Michelle King and Justin Lastra have been arrested for the murder of 13-month-old Damien King.
Police reported they were called to the couple’s home on January 8, and within moments of their arrival, suspected abuse.
According to court documents, King got a call from Lastra while she was at work that there had been an accident. Lastra told his girlfriend, and officers, that Damien fell down the stairs when he was using the bathroom.
When Lastra found Damien, he was unresponsive.
The mother reportedly told her boyfriend to call 911, as she left work to rush home.
First responders said, they "performed CPR on Damien for over an hour until they were able to obtain a faint pulse."
Lastra told officers, “Damien had been learning to walk”, and would fall “face first on their hardwood floors, causing bruising on his face and head.”
Also, Lastra said that Damien was, “accident prone and liked to fall.”
“They encountered what they believed to be child abuse,” said Special Agent Adam Whitney. “The child was transported to the Mercy Logan County hospital, where it was initially treated, and then eventually transferred to the OU Medical center in critical condition.”
The couple was originally charged with child abuse, but now faces the crime of first-degree murder.
King reported she and Lastra had been living together for about four months. She said that Lastra, “loved Damien and Lastra would never hurt Damien.”
Doctors at OU Medical admitted Damien into level one trauma.
A child abuse expert at the hospital told investigators Damien’s trauma was not expected from a fall down the stairs. Instead, the injuries indicated the 1-year-old had been, “forcefully struck over his body and head or that his body and head were forcefully struck with a firm object.”
Damien’s injures included hemorrhages, lung and bowel contusions, and fractures in his skull, ribs and spine. He also had lacerations on his liver.
Damien died Thursday night at OU Medical Center.
Now, the case heads to court.
Lastra pleaded guilty to domestic violence in Payne County in 2016.
King's bond is set at $500,000, while Lastra's is set at $1 million.
Both suspects are due in court Tuesday, January 15, at 1:30 p.m.