Man sentenced to 45 years in death of 4-month-old girl

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Nicole Williams

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 11, 2015)– A 20-year-old man accused of killing his girlfriend’s baby was sentenced Wednesday for the crime.

Jared Tapley was sentenced to 45 years in jail for the February 2013 death of his girlfriend’s infant daughter. Tapley pleaded guilty to neglect of dependent resulting in death in October 2014.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Tapley was babysitting 4-month-old Nicole Williams when he called 911 stating the infant was not breathing. Tapley failed to provide explanation for the significant injuries Nicole suffered while in his care.

Jared Tapley

Jared Tapley

Detectives obtained an IHSAA State Championship basketball ring Tapley was seen wearing on the day of the incident. An autopsy performed on the infant noted the injury pattern on the left side of Nicole’s face was consistent with Tapley’s ring. The infant’s cause of death was ruled to be blunt force trauma to the head.

Tapley spoke to FOX59 while in jail in February 2013.

“I was playing with her and she fell outta my hand and hit her head on the table and I didn’t know what happened. I just heard her crying,” Tapley explained. “I picked her up and put her on the um, put her pacifier in her mouth, put her on her stomach, went downstairs for a little bit and came back upstairs and that’s when that happened.”

“I loved her like she was my own baby and I wouldn’t do anything to intentionally hurt her,” he said. “I’m just sorry for whatever happened. I’m not the type of person that’d do anything to a baby on purpose, intentionally. I really did love that baby.”