Harrington Man Arrested in Infant's Death - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Harrington Man Arrested in Infant's Death

Updated:
James E. Hammond James E. Hammond

HARRINGTON, Del.- Delaware State Police say they have arrested a Harrington man wanted in connection with the death of his girlfriend's infant niece. 

James E. Hammond, 44, on Friday morning turned himself in to detectives at Troop 3 and charged with charged with first-degree murder by abuse or neglect for the death of 7-month-old Aubri N. Thompson.

According to police, Hammond had been taking care of Aubrey at his home on the 200 block of Commerce Street. Troopers said that shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, Aubri was brought into the Milford Memorial Hospital Emergency Room by her aunt and her aunt's boyfriend, Hammond, due to Aubri being unresponsive while at the home. Investigators said attempts to revive Aubri by medical staff were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at around 7:30 p.m.

At the request of the Harrington Police Department, the DSP Homicide Unit was contacted to investigate the incident. According to police, detectives learned that Aubri had been in the care of her aunt and Hammond since Tuesday, Feb. 25, while her parents were out of state on vacation.  Troopers said that sometime between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, Hammond was watching Aubri alone when it was alleged that she had fallen to the floor from a crib. According to police, no medical attention was sought for the child until the following day.

Police said that on Saturday, March 1, an autopsy was performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which ruled the manner of death to be a homicide by blunt force trauma.

On Wednesday, March 12, detectives obtained a warrant for Hammond's arrest. Following his arrest Friday, he was ordered held in the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center on $100,000 secured bond.

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