Father fatally beat daughter because she didn't know ABCs, assistant district attorney says

Willie Jones, 22, is charged in the beating death of his 4-year-old daughter, who went to the hospital covered in welts and bruises.

A 4-year-old girl beaten to death last month received her fatal injuries because she didn’t know her ABCs, Assis­tant District Attorney Natalie Paine said Friday during a bond hearing for Willie Jones.

Jones, 22, is charged with murder in the death of his daughter, who was staying with him for two weeks while her grandmother recovered from surgery. Jones spent little time with his daughter, but it was hoped they could establish a better bond during their time together, Paine said.

Instead, numerous abuses were committed against the child, which Paine listed before Superior Court Judge William Fleming, who denied bond for Jones.

Paine said there were photos of Jones beating and dragging the child from the time she moved in with him Feb. 27. The girl was being punished for not knowing her ABCs or 123s, Paine said.

When the child was taken to the emergency room March 11, her body was covered in welts and bruises. Her back was striped with second-degree burns.

Paine said the injuries were caused by Jones beating her head with a shoe, a belt and a slender plastic rod used to open blinds. Both the belt and the rod broke from the force of Jones’ beatings, Paine said.

Jones apparently felt bad about the abuse and took the girl to a gas station to get candy, but witnesses saw him taunt the girl, telling her to pick out candy, then yelling at her, Paine said.

Jones was arrested on suspicion of child cruelty when his daughter was brought to the hospital. When he was told she was taken off life support six days later, his response, according to Paine, was: “Man, I’m going away for life now.”

Fleming denied bond on the grounds that Jones poses a threat to the community.

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