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Henderson man accused of killing girlfriend’s toddler daughter

Updated Monday, April 5, 2010 | 1:47 p.m.

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Cody Geddings

A 24-year-old Henderson man accused of killing a 16-month-old girl is being held without bail in the Henderson Detention Center.

Cody Geddings was booked on murder charges Friday night after the girl died, police said.

Detectives were called to St. Rose de Lima Hospital at 1:40 p.m. Wednesday in response to a toddler who suffered serious head injuries, Henderson Police spokesman Keith Paul said. The child’s mother, 19-year-old Jaime Higgons, took her to the hospital saying the child had fallen from her crib, but police said the severity of the injuries was inconsistent with that explanation.

According to a Henderson Police arrest report, Higgons told authorities her boyfriend was babysitting the toddler, identified as Addison Weast, when the injury occurred. Geddings gave police various explanations for the injuries to the child, but police said none was credible.

According to the arrest report, Weast was taken from St. Rose de Lima Hospital to UMC's trauma unit for surgery. At the time the girl was transported her vital signs were stable, but police say it became apparent she had suffered possible head or spinal injuries.

At UMC, doctors discovered that the child’s skull, above her right ear, had been shattered. Weast suffered hemorrhaging in her brain, police said.

Police questioned Geddings for two hours, during which Geddings provided two explanations for the child’s injuries. In the first explanation, he told police the girl had a seizure while she was in her playpen. In the second, he told police she had been playing near a wobbly chair in the backyard of his home, and that a full-sized acetylene gas cylinder had fallen on her.

Geddings told police that he then called Higgons to tell her Weast was injured. Higgons told police that after Geddings called her, it took her about 20 minutes to get home.

According to the arrest report, Geddings didn't call 911 or make any calls for medical help.

Geddings told police that he placed the child next to her playpen to make it appear that she had fallen out because he feared he would be blamed. Court records indicate Geddings has also been arrested in connection with the abuse and neglect of his own son.

Geddings is set to be sentenced May 5 on a gross misdemeanor count of child endangerment. He was initially charged with felony child abuse before pleading guilty to the reduced charge of child endangerment, district court records show.

According to a police report from the time of Geddings’ arrest in July 2009, police responded to St. Rose Dominican Hospitals – Siena Campus after receiving a report of a child who fell out of his father’s hands and landed facedown on the floor.

The report said Geddings told nurses and officers he had just finished bathing his six-week-old son and had taken him to the bedroom to dress him. As he held his son in one hand, he reached for a diaper with the other and the boy slipped out of his grip, he said. As he reached to grab the falling baby, he was only able to reach the boy’s foot and grabbing his foot caused the child to rotate and land facedown, the police report said.

Medical personnel told police that the boy might have a broken nose, a skull fracture and other serious injuries so an investigation into possible child abuse was started.

A nurse told police the infant was foaming at the mouth and going in and out of consciousness when he arrived at the hospital. The baby had bruises and abrasions, the report said.

Geddings’ explanations were inconsistent with the boy’s injuries, police said. The boy was eventually released from the hospital three days later with no serious injuries, the report said.

Geddings’ wife told police she hadn’t been home at the time. She told police she didn’t believe her husband would intentionally harm the child, the report stated.

In a later interview with police, Geddings offered another explanation for the bruises on his son. He told police he was upset with his wife and that he was holding his son on his lap while they were arguing. He said he might have squeezed his son’s legs and arms to the point where bruising and marks were left, the report said.

He also told police that his relationship with his wife was sometimes violent. He admitted to sometimes losing his temper and explained that in previous fits of rage, he hit walls and had broken windows. He said he knows he can lose his temper, the police report said.

He used a doll to show police where he had squeezed his son, and those areas were consistent with where bruises were found, the report stated.

The maximum sentence Geddings could receive on the child endangerment charge is a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. He was released from custody in July after posting $3,000 bail, court records show.

Geddings previously served jail time for other felony convictions in two other cases, court records show.

In 2005, Geddings was accused of stealing tires and rims and pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny. He was sentenced to a maximum of three years in jail.

He also served jail time in connection with a 2003 case in which he was accused of stealing a car and setting it on fire in the desert. He was first sentenced to probation, but it was later revoked, court records show.

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