Father charged in 4-month-old daughter’s death

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, August 17, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS — A 21-year-old Minneapolis man was charged Tuesday with beating his 4-month-old daughter to death after admitting to police that he punched her more than 20 times and squeezed her chest because the infant was making noises while he watched television.

Cory Morris was charged with second-degree murder in Hennepin County District Court in the death of his daughter, Emersyn. Morris was arrested Saturday afternoon when police found the girl dead inside their duplex.

Morris remains in custody on $2 million bail and is scheduled to have his first hearing Wednesday, the Star Tribune reported.

Email newsletter signup

According to the criminal complaint, Morris told officers in a statement that he moved his daughter from her baby swing to a changing station because she was making baby noises as he watched TV. When she continued making noises, he hit her to quiet her: 15 times in the face and several times in the chest, later squeezing the baby’s chest, he admitted. The baby was found dead at the scene.

Morris was arrested at the duplex, his hands filled with blood and shirt covered in bloodstains. According to a search warrant filed in the case, he called the girl’s mother to tell her that he had hit the baby while she was at work.

The woman told police that Morris would watch the girl several times a week. She said he “can go from happy to mad easily,” according to the complaint, adding that he often directed his anger at her by grabbing her or throwing items.

Morris’ mother, Ginny Morris, said her son struggled with depression but his family didn’t believe he was violent. She said they had tried to find him treatment but had no luck, either due to lack of available beds or because Morris pushed them away.

“We never thought he would hurt the baby. We would never allow him to be with the baby if that was the case,” Ginny said. “We were worried he was going to hurt himself, not the baby.”