Infant's death ruled homicide
BY MATT BARNARD World Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
12/15/09 at 4:28 AM
A teenager who is implicated in her son's death had another baby who died under questionable circumstances, according to a police detective who specializes in child-abuse cases.
Police allege that Dominique Lagail Lee, 18, grabbed her 7-week-old son, Kai'den Terry, by the ankles and slammed him head-first onto the floor of her apartment on Sept. 27. The child had bleeding in his brain, and his death is classified as a homicide, police said Monday.
As first reported Monday on
, the case has rekindled an investigation from 2007, when another of Lee's children died. She gave police similar accounts of both deaths, Sgt. Brandon Wykoff said.
"We obviously reopened it because of her second baby also dying, with (Lee) having a similar story," he said. "We're looking at it with a little more suspicion now."
Police will present both cases to prosecutors in the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office, who will decide whether charges are warranted.
Lee is already in the Tulsa Jail in connection with two armed robberies at Tulsa apartment complexes. Police allege that she was a getaway driver for Johnny Frazier, 22, during the holdups.
After being arrested Dec. 6 in connection with the robberies, Lee told detectives from the Police Department's Child Crisis Unit that she had been in a lengthy argument via text message with Kai'den's biological father. While at her apartment in the 6900 block of South Trenton Avenue, she pulled the infant off a bed and threw him to the floor, police allege.
Wykoff said the baby's only visible injuries were bruised ankles, and Lee told police that she slept in the same bed as the infant.
She was alone with the child when he died and initially said she didn't know how he was injured, according to police.
Detectives interviewed Lee when the death was reported, but there wasn't enough evidence for an arrest. Wykoff said an autopsy later found that Kai'den had two subdural hemorrhages on the left side of his head. That allowed the case to proceed as a homicide.
The baby's death brought more attention to another of her children who died while in her care in 2007.
No charges were filed in that death. Lee said that after giving the 6-week-old boy some formula, she left the room and returned to find him unresponsive, police reported.
Wykoff said that because Lee's stories about both deaths are so similar, detectives also will present the 2007 case to the District Attorney's Office.
Including Kai'den's death, Tulsa has recorded 68 homicides this year, Officer Leland Ashley said. With December about half over, the city is closing in on the all-time annual high of 69 slayings, a record that was set in 2003.
Matt Barnard 581-8408
Dominique Lagail Lee: She is already in the Tulsa Jail in connection with two armed robberies at local apartment complexes.