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Man charged in Christmas death of girlfriend's 7-month-old child

Posted at 9:06 AM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 17:17:53-05

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Police have arrested a man over the Christmas death of his girlfriend's 7-month-old daughter.

Herbert Leon Miller, 24, faces charges of first and second degree child abuse and assault that carries of maximum sentence of 75 years.

According to charging documents, Harlem Phillips was in cardiac arrest when she was brought to the hospital by medics the night of December 22.

Miller had told doctors that Harlem had fallen off a sofa and had a seizure.

When police got to the hospital, doctors told them Harlem had suffered bleeding to the brain and retinal eye hemorrhaging that suggested she was shaken, contradicting Miller's claim that Harlem had fallen off the couch.

Court documents say a crime lab technician measured Miller's sofa as being only one foot above a carpeted floor.

Harlem died three days later on Christmas morning. The Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy which found Harlem died from blunt force trauma.

Detectives later interviewed Harlem's mother who said Miller had been babysitting Harlem at his apartment on Louise Avenue over the weekend, while she'd gone out.

The mother told investigators that Miller called her that Sunday night to tell her that Harlem had a seizure, and they were going to the hospital.

Police then spoke to Miller who confirmed he'd been watching Harlem over the weekend for his girlfriend.

Miller admitted that he got frustrated and shook Harlem. He told police that he shook Harlem hard and saw her eyes rolling into her head.

It was something Miller told detectives he'd never seen, so he asked his brother, who told him to call 911.

In the charging documents, detectives wrote that they asked Miller if he knew that he caused the injury to Harlem. Miller answered 'Yes', that he got frustrated and was sorry for what he did.

He's currently being held without bail.