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crime:

Stepmother arrested in death of 3-year-old boy

Updated Thursday, June 10, 2010 | 2:17 p.m.

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Kedria Watson

Child death investigation

A 27-year-old Las Vegas woman has been arrested on child abuse charges in connection with the death of her 3-year-old stepson, police said.

According to an arrest report, Watson told detectives she was watching Darryl and her stepdaughter at about 2 p.m. June 4 at a house in the 4700 block of E. Craig Road, while their father was doing community service. She said she was the only adult home at the time, and was trying to hurry Darryl along so they could go to the grocery store, according to the police report.

According to an arrest report, Watson told detectives she was watching Darryl and her stepdaughter at about 2 p.m. June 4, while their father was doing community service. She said she was the only adult home at the time, and was trying to hurry Darryl along so they could go to the grocery store, according to the police report.

Police allege she pushed Darryl and he hit the top of his head on the wooden leg of a bed frame, the report said. She originally said the boy suffered the head injury after he fell off the bed onto the carpeted floor.

She told officers he got up and fell again before beginning to shake and convulse, police said.

Police said Watson realized Darryl was having a seizure and placed cold towels on his face before laying him down on his bed. She said she checked his temperature and then took a one-hour nap, the report said.

When Watson woke up she went into the boy’s room and found him unresponsive, police said. Darryl was breathing but wouldn't wake up, so Watson began shaking him, the report said.

She then called 911 and rode with the boy in an ambulance to University Medical Center. Darryl was in critical condition and had a portion of his skull removed and decompressed to relieve the swelling of his brain.

Police said it was determined that the boy then had no brain activity and was taken off life support. The Clark County Coroner’s Office said Darryl was pronounced dead at UMC on June 6 of blunt force head trauma. Watson was then charged with murder by child abuse.

Medical officials said his injury was inconsistent with Watson’s original story. Immediate medical attention could have made a significant difference in the recovery of the boy, authorities said.

Watson’s stepdaughter has been taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services. No charges have been filed against the victim’s father.

Court records show Watson pleaded guilty to child abuse and neglect in October 2008 and was sentenced to five years of probation. She is now up for review on a probation violation.

She is being held in the Clark County Detention Center without bail.

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