A man charged in his 2-month-old daughter’s death told an investigator he dropped his baby after getting her out of the bathtub, but didn’t tell anyone because he didn’t want to be seen as a bad father.
Russell Long, 26, and Jessica Adkins, 23, are both charged with the death of their daughter, Kaylie Trinity Adkins, on March 6, 2009. A forensic pathologist said the child had skull fractures, rib fractures and her brain was bleeding when she died.
Jurors heard and watched several videos of police interviewing the couple in the days after their daughter’s death. In one, Adkins was allowed to talk to Long in one of the interrogation rooms and the conversation was recorded.
Adkins had just learned how her baby died and demanded Long tell her what happened. He said Kaylie rolled off the couch, but he checked her and she was OK.
“You killed my baby girl. I want her back,” Adkins said, sobbing. “Why didn’t you tell me? We could have saved her life. We could have took her to the hospital if you would have told me.”
Long kept saying he was sorry and he didn’t mean to hurt Kaylie. Adkins continued to accuse him of making their daughter suffer for days before she died.
“I trusted you with my kids,” Adkins said at one point.
Long had lost his job and was staying home with the couple’s two children while Adkins worked second shift.
She became sick the last week of February 2009, but Adkins told investigators she thought it was a virus. “She puked because she was bleeding in the brain,” Adkins said.
Long and Adkins were not charged and were allowed to go home that day.
Several days later, Washington County Sheriff’s Investigator Sammy Phillips was asked to interview Long.
He was able to get Long to admit that he dropped Kaylie from a standing position and her head hit the side of the tub.
“It was an accident. She slid out of my hands when I was giving her a bath,” Long told the officer.
Long said he had too much on him that day trying to watch both kids. Several times Long expressed concern he would be charged with murder, and pondered aloud what his bond might be.
Other testimony Thursday included Dr. Marianne Neal, a pediatric radiologist. She testified that the four fractures to Kaylie’s skull would have taken a lot of force, like what is seen in a high-speed vehicle crash.
She also testified that the space between the bones of Kaylie’s skull were wider, indicating she had increased pressure in her brain.
Adkins is charged with first-degree murder by child neglect and Long is charged with two counts of first-degree murder — one by child abuse and the other by child neglect. If convicted, they face life in prison.
Prior to the trial, Adkins was free on an OR, own recognizance, bond but is now in custody without bond because she was late getting to court on Wednesday. Long is being held on a $1 million bond.