PROVO — A Provo man accused of killing his girlfriend's baby was charged Tuesday with child abuse homicide.
Cameron Chad Willingham, 23, was charged with the first-degree felony in 4th District Court. He is also facing a count of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.
On March 19, emergency crews were called on a report of a 4-month-old baby not breathing. Nevaeh King was taken by medical helicopter to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City. She died after being on life support for 36 hours, the charges state.
"Doctors indicate there was minimal brain activity at the start of medical treatment and that the child was likely brain dead upon arrival at the hospital," according to charging documents.
"The child had bruising on the outside of the head, face and eyes," the charges state. "Initial evaluations showed severe trauma to the outside of the child's head and bleeding in the child's brain."
An autopsy revealed brain, head and spinal trauma, including "blunt trauma to the left, right, top and back of head," according to charging documents.
The State Medical Examiner's Office also found bruising in the child's abdomen and "evidence of severe dehydration and malnutrition showing that this child's death was likely caused by inflicted injuries and child abuse," the charges state.
"Doctors have informed police officers that the constellation of injuries to this child were likely caused by severe shaking, multiple impacts to the head, and squeezing of the abdomen while the injuries were inflicted upon the child," court documents state.
Willingham told police he was alone with the baby for about four hours. During that time, he claimed to put Nevaeh on a couch with a bottle "to stop the baby from 'freaking out,'" the charges state. He said he then took a shower, and when he got out, he found "the child laying on the couch unresponsive and not breathing."1 comment on this story
When detectives inspected the bottle, they "found it contained dried formula and mold as if it were old and not as described by Mr. Willingham as used that day," according to the charges.
Court records show Willingham was convicted of misdemeanor drug possession twice in December in different jurisdictions. In December 2016, Willingham was charged with misdemeanor assault in a domestic violence incident.
He was convicted of misdemeanor assault on a pregnant woman in September 2016, and misdemeanor drug possession and failing to stop at an officer's commands in April 2016, according to court records. Willingham pleaded no contest to unlawful sexual activity with a minor in 2014.