Police testimony: Baby’s skull looked like ‘cracked egg’ shell

The mother of a four-month old baby who died from what police call a case of deadly abuse, has told investigators close to a dozen different stories about the day her son died.

A detective testified about the inconsistencies of 18-year old Leila Martin’s version of events at a preliminary hearing for her boyfriend, Lavail Dunbar, in Rock Island on Tuesday.

“Leila gave several different stories, we interviewed her later she gave approximately 11 different stories to us, to doctors, to paramedics, to nurses,” said Detective Chad Sowards of the Rock Island Police Department.

“I believe her final story was she left the child in the care of Mr. Dunbar while she took an hour long shower,” he said.

Jeremiah Morrison died September 18th from “traumatic head injuries,” and one hospital worker said the infant’s “skull looked like a cracked egg shell.”

“The child had bruising around the eye and the jaw, the head was swollen and there appeared to be outlines of fingers like someone had grabbed the child around the neck,” Sowards testified.

He also said the baby suffered bruises on his left thigh, both knees, and had lacerations in his rectal area.

Defense attorney Herb Schultz suggested during cross examination that some of the injuries could have been caused by Dunbar improperly doing CPR on the child.

Police testified that Dunbar was performing CPR on the lifeless baby on the living room floor when paramedics arrived.

“There was no pulse, the child had no breath. Nothing. They immediately scooped the child up and took him out to the ambulance,” Sowards said.

After the preliminary hearing, Dunbar plead not guilty to the murder charge.

His grandmother, Willie Nance, says she can’t believe Dunbar, 20, would be capable of such a crime.

“Lavail has babysat everybody’s kids, from here to Davenport. He’s never harmed a child. He would have never hurt that baby,” Nance said.

A preliminary hearing for Martin is set for later in October.

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