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Independence man is charged with murdering his 10-week-old daughter

Updated: 2013-05-24T02:10:14Z

By BRIAN BURNES

The Kansas City Star

An Independence man is charged with murdering his 10-week-old daughter, who died Monday after suffering broken bones, a fractured skull and brain damage.

Alex A. Gilbert, 24, is charged with second-degree murder. Bond was set at $500,000 cash. He has pleaded not guilty, and he is scheduled to appear in Lafayette County Circuit Court on Wednesday.

According to court documents, Gilbert was left alone with the baby about 9 p.m. May 16 and she was asleep when her mother returned two hours later. The baby slept until 11 the next morning and wouldn’t drink much formula during the day, when authorities said she was alone with Gilbert again.

Authorities said Gilbert referred to the baby as moody on Friday and allegedly told her mother that he could just “throw the baby up against the wall.”

An ambulance crew that was called to a Bates City house about 6 p.m. May 17 had to help the baby breathe as they took her to St. Mary’s Hospital in Blue Springs.

Doctors at the hospital noted numerous internal injuries that they considered to be the result of non-accidental trauma, and they had the baby transferred to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

After the baby was declared dead about 7 a.m. Monday, authorities said Gilbert looked at the child’s body and said, “I’m sorry,” then apologized to her mother and walked away.

An autopsy performed Tuesday by the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office indicated the child had suffered numerous broken bones, including a fractured skull, plus contusions and brain damage. The office determined the death to be a homicide, according to the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office.

A sheriff’s detective who observed the mother in the hospital noted that she had black eyes and a bruise on her forehead. The mother said Gilbert had thrown a phone at her forehead earlier in the week.

But during a hospital interview Gilbert said those injuries were accidental.

To reach Brian Burnes, call 816-234-4120 or send email to bburnes@kcstar.com.

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