An Oklahoma City father, arrested in connection to the death of his 3-month-old baby, is now accused of first-degree murder.
According to police, at about 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5, officers responded to the report of an unresponsive baby at a home in the 700 block of S.E. 15th Street. The child, King Barnes, was transported by EMSA to Children's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said they interviewed the child's father, 26-year-old Brandon Lamont Ross, on the day of the incident. They learned that Ross had left the baby unattended at the home for about 20 to 30 minutes. He told police that when he returned, he discovered his home ransacked and the baby unresponsive.
Ross was then booked into the Oklahoma County Jail on one count of child neglect.
According to police, the Medical Examiner has since ruled this case a homicide. According to the Medical Examiner's office, Barnes had acute brain hemorrhage, optic nerve hemorrhage and multiple healing rib fractures.
Ross appeared for a video arraignment in front of a judge on Monday. He is being held without bond, accused of both child neglect and first-degree murder.
Ross looked overwhelmed as the judge read the accusations against him. He even started crying during his video arraignment when the judge told him he is now being held for first degree murder.
According to the probable cause affidavit released Monday, Ross told them he left his son alone in his apartment at the Ambassador Courts Housing complex off SE 15th St. while he went to the store.
News 9 talked to one neighbor she said she came face to face with him. But she did not want to be identified.
"I didn't even know he had kids,” she said. "I seen him with my own eyes!"
The neighbor, who is a mother herself, said Ross came to her and her friend looking for help, but never mentioned the baby was in distress - and didn't seem too upset either.
"He was like, ‘Did you girls see anyone come out of my apartment?'," she said. "He hadn't been living here a long time - maybe a month or so."
Neighbors News 9 talked to were shocked to learn he is now accused of killing his 3-month-old baby boy, who police and paramedics found not breathing in the apartment. The boy was rushed to Children's hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
They are even more upset to learn Ross spent time in prison for abusing his 2-month-old baby daughter back in 2009.
Court records show Ross pleaded guilty to the crime, and received a suspended sentence and had just been released from prison in 2013. Court documents state in that case Ross brought his daughter to the emergency room at Children's Hospital saying she was lethargic, panting, and limp in his arms. Doctors say the child was suffering from “abusive head trauma” and had bleeding on the brain and the retinas of her eyes had become detatched. The child was placed in protective custody. Court papers further state the child's mother told police Ross had thrown her high in the air on several occasions and often spun her around. The mother was charged and convicted of enabling child abuse.
"It makes me mad," said the neighbor back at Ross's current complex. “If they are not going to take care of them, why do you even have kids why do you even make kids!"
The DA has not yet filed formal charges against Ross and News 9 has just learned DHS has launched an investigation into this case.?