Lehigh Valley

Essence James charged with homicide in baby's death

15-month-old had broken bones, head injuries, according to autopsy

Mother charged with killing her child

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - An Allentown mother is charged with the unthinkable.  Police say she brutally beat and killed her 15-month-old son.

 Essence James, 34, is facing multiple charges including criminal homicide.

According to court records, James' boyfriend told police how she killed her son.

Back in March, Allentown Police took Michael James into custody after his girlfriend's son, Cordero James, died inside 718 15th Street.

Police say James admitted to being high on marijuana while watching the child and even selling the drug in and out of the home.

According to an affidavit in March, James also told police he fell asleep while being high.

"What the police concentrate on initially,in every case of this type, is who was the caretaker who last had charge of the child," said District Attorney Jim Martin.

Now new court papers filed Wednesday afternoon show Michael James told investigators his girlfriend was the one that killed her son.

"He indicated that he saw Essence with the child, observed take the child in the bathroom then heard sounds coming from the bathroom that he interpreted as a beating being inflicted on the child," said Michael James.

The court documents further show that Michael James says Essence then put the baby by him in the bed.

"He was asleep for several hours and when he awakened the child was in distress," said Martin.

The affidavit shows during the autopsy of Cordero James, the Lehigh County coroner's office found injuries to the head, neck and torso.

The 15-month-old also had broken ribs and a broken collar bone that was in the process of healing, injuries that made investigators take a closer look.

"We began to probe deeper and the investigation disclosed some evidence that led us to Essence," said Martin

Essence James is currently in the Lehigh County Prison.

There is no bail on a charge of criminal homicide.

Michael James is still facing endangering the welfare of a child charges.

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