Las Vegas Sun

July 5, 2015

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Police: Woman possibly beat 1-year-old girl with a metal pipe

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Mariann Harris

A 23-year-old woman arrested Wednesday in the death of an infant earlier this month possibly beat the baby with a green metal pipe, according to an arrest report released Friday.

Mariann Harris was arrested in California in connection with the death of 1-year-old Dyon Johnson. She has been charged with murder and two counts of child abuse and neglect, one with a deadly weapon.

Jannett Simms said she dropped her healthy child off at Harris’ house to stay for a few days. Just before midnight on Aug. 12, Johnson, Harris’ goddaughter, was taken to University Medical Center with fresh injuries, according to the arrest report.

A fire captain who arrived at the scene said the baby was "cold to the touch" and an EMT noticed extensive bruising to the child’s face, although Harris claimed she found the child lying on the floor having trouble breathing. She changed her previous story that the infant had fallen down the stairs, police said.

Two of Harris’ young children later said in an interview that their mother beat Johnson in the kitchen. When officers issued a search warrant they found a green metal pipe from a bar stool in the kitchen with a hair tie similar to ones in Johnson’s hair.

Harris accused officers of bringing in the pipe, but the first officer to arrive said the pipe already was in the home.

A neighbor also told police she saw Harris hitting the infant very hard on the back the day before the child died. Harris is awaiting extradition from California to Las Vegas.

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