His head shaking and arched downward, a Mississippi man accused of fatally battering his girlfriend’s 22-month-old daughter appeared near tears Thursday afternoon at his jailhouse court hearing in Covington.
Wearing shackles and a black-and-white striped jail jumpsuit, Andrew Roberts, 20, nibbled and sucked on his lips as he stood uncertainly in front of Commissioner Daniel Foil for his 72-hour hearing at the St. Tammany Parish jail. His eyes wet, he timidly answered the questions posed to him.
Foil told Roberts that he faced a charge of second-degree murder, that his $500,000 cash, property or surety bond would stand, and that a public defender would be assigned to represent him.
Roberts, of Kiln, Miss., had been baby-sitting Rubie Boland of the Pearl River area while her mother, Helen Teal, was at work on the evening of April 1. Authorities said he picked the toddler up by the feet, shook her and slammed her head against the floor repeatedly, apparently because he was having a bad day. Rubie was pronounced brain dead and removed from life support the next day.
Roberts had dated Teal for about three months and had baby-sat Rubie on nearly a dozen previous occasions, authorities said. He is not Rubie’s biological father, according to authorities.
By the time you finish reading this, 15 children will have been abused; In the next five minutes, 30 more; Within the next hour, 360 more; And by tonight, close to 8,000+ children will have suffered from abuse, 5 of which will die. Child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now considered a worldwide epidemic. The high jump in child abuse deaths and the shocking increase in statistics highlights the frightening lack of public knowledge.
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It May Just Save a Child's Life!!