The death of Amarrius Rice, a 5-month-old baby who died of multiple blunt trauma wounds allegedly caused by his 17-year-old mother, was ruled a homicide by a coroner's jury on Monday.
In the case of Amarrius, who died Sept. 18, Decatur Police Detective Brad Allen testified that Savannah Pickett, the baby's mother, admitted to police that she had dropped and punched her baby, which matched with the injuries that led to his death.
Allen, who attended the autopsy at Springfield Memorial Medical Center, said it was determined that Amarrius died from multiple injuries due to blunt force trauma caused by child abuse. The injuries consisted of multiple skull fractures, a lacerated liver, abdominal bruising and bleeding, bleeding to his kidneys, hemorrhaging to his thymus, bruising of his ribs, bleeding on his brain and hemorrhaging on his spine.
Pickett has confessed to police that she dropped him on the floor, punched him in the stomach and shook him
Allen said that Amarrius, who had sustained the injuries on Sept. 15 and 16, was cared for by the boy's aunt for the 36 hours prior to his hospitalization. The aunt was the sister of Amarrius' father, Bobby G. Rice.
Rice, 23, an inmate at Jacksonville Correctional Center, was arrested Nov. 6 on a burglary charge. He was later convicted of burglary and aggravated domestic battery, and sentenced to four years, six months in prison. He was incarcerated when the baby was born on March 22, three months before Pickett's 17th birthday.
Allen said the aunt and others at her home told police they did not notice the baby was seriously injured, until he turned purple and stopped breathing
. Then he was rushed to Decatur Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:24 a.m. Sept. 18.