Te’Lea Jefferson Tallahassee Florida woman beats 3 year old boy w/ tire iron while he was brushing teeth. Woman was romantically involved with child victim’s mother.
A Florida woman who was caring for a 3-year-old toddler has confessed to beating the boy to death with a tire iron as he brushed his teeth, police said.
Te’Lea Jefferson, 23, was arrested Tuesday on charges of murder and aggravated battery in the boy’s death a day earlier, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
Jefferson — who lived with the infant, his 6-year-old brother and one of their parents, court records show — first told investigators he fell off a sink while brushing his teeth, hitting his head on a toilet, police said.
But the boy’s extensive injuries, including severe cuts to his face and hands, as well as bruises on his arms and legs, were ‘not consistent’ with Jefferson’s version of events, court records indicate.
Jefferson, who said she’s in a relationship with the victim’s parent, the boy’s mother, later admitted to investigators that she attacked him after ordering him to get off the sink.
‘Boy often required more strikes or blows than his older sibling’
‘His refusal to climb down when told angered her,’ an arrest report states. ‘Jefferson said that she walked into the bedroom and retrieved the tire iron from a tool kit.’
Jefferson then went back to the bathroom and tossed the tire iron at the boy, hitting him on the side of the face, she told cops.
Jefferson allegedly admitted to hitting the boy with the tire iron several times, including after he tried running away and recalled seeing blood rushing from his body. The girlfriend then hid the object outside the home, police said.
When officers asked Jefferson if she used physical punishment on the boy before, she said he was stubborn and ‘often required more strikes or blows than his older sibling,’ the affidavit says.
The boy had likely died before Jefferson showed up at a hospital with him, as she told police he was unresponsive at the time, an arrest report shows.
The child who was in Jefferson’s care was pronounced dead six minutes after arriving at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital with severe face trauma to his face and head. The boy’s body temperature at the time was 88 degrees.
Staffers at the hospital then contacted police regarding the boy’s ‘suspicious death,’ department officials said.
Jefferson’s first court appearance on Wednesday was continued until Thursday so her attorney can attend the proceeding. She remained jailed without bond at the Leon County Detention Facility.
Not immediately clear was the nature of the arrested woman’s relationship with the mother of her child victim.