Lawrence couple charged with murder of infant arrested in Tennessee

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 9, 2014)--  Charges were filed Tuesday in a disturbing child abuse case in Marion County.

Apryl Hammer, 23, has been charged with murder, aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent.  Her 18-year-old live-in boyfriend, Corey Bullock, has been charged with the same.  The charges came after Hammer’s 9-month-old daughter died on Oct. 2 at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

The infant was covered in cuts and bruises, police and doctors say she died from blunt force trauma.

“What she suffered is certainly beyond disturbing and there’s no question about what it is that happened to her,” said Kristina Korobov, the supervisor of Marion County’s Special Victims Team.

It was Sept. 30 when 9-month-old Aiva McGee was rushed to the hospital.  McGee had internal injuries like broken ribs that doctors say were left untreated for weeks, a telltale sign, they said, of child abuse.

“Doctors determined essentially that her heart stopped as a result of the trauma that she suffered and that it was blunt force trauma that was necessary to inflict these injuries,” said Korobov.

McGee was pronounced dead a day after her arrival at the hospital.  Her mother and her mother’s boyfriend were arrested in Tennessee and were charged with the child’s death.

“Not a typical toddler fall or a child who’s learning to walk who bumps their head on anything,” said Korobov.

The couple lived in an apartment complex in Lawrence.  Inside apartment 2-C, police described the conditions the child was being raised in, in a probable cause affidavit, “There were flying gnats throughout the residence, ashtrays filled with cigarette butts, drug paraphernalia (smoking pipes), and dog feces on the floor of another bedroom which were in close proximity to containers of baby food.”

Court documents reveal when the couple was asked about how the 9-month-old suffered her injuries, they said she hit her head on her crib or fell while walking.  The affidavit included this, when Hammer was asked how her child may have received the injuries, “Despite the fact that no one had suggested how or who had inflicted these injuries, Hammer spontaneously said ‘he would never throw her.’”

“It’s clear there was chronic injury to this child that was inflicted.  She was the one due protection at nine months old. She was completely unable to fend for herself,” said Korobov.

The couple is still in Tennessee. They are waiting to be extradited back to Marion County.  Bullock’s father told FOX59 he “feels like his heart has been ripped out of his chest,” but he maintains his son is innocent.