https://pilotonline.com/news/local/crime/article_c5d5e9cd-bff2-503f-b6ab-56af2289ee35.html2-year-old girl died with bruises on her face, head, eye, ear, back and under her tongue, prosecutors said Tuesday. She died with a busted tooth and a brain filled with fluid and starved of oxygen.
“This is a child who had been abused and abused,” prosecutor Jill Harris said.
Evalynn Arnold died May 28, three days after her mother’s boyfriend, Robert Griffis, called 911 to report she was not breathing and was turning blue, Harris said. He also called the mother, Destiny Martin, while she was working as a baker at Walmart.
On Tuesday, Martin came to court to try for a bond. Prosecutors have presented no evidence suggesting Martin hurt her daughter, Johnson said, adding that she thinks the autopsy will show Evalynn died of natural causes or was hurt by someone else.
Martin has repeatedly said Evalynn had been banging her head against her crib, which explains her injuries, Johnson said. Martin tried to protect the girl from herself by dismantling the crib two or three days before she went to a hospital and letting her sleep on the floor.
Because Evalynn’s sibling has epilepsy, Johnson said, Martin thought her other child might be suffering from a genetic disorder.
Harris countered that Martin either hurt her daughter or knew Griffis did. The girl was covered in bruises, something neighbors and relatives noticed during the three months the couple lived in Hampton Roads. One neighbor heard the girl screaming in the middle of the night when Martin was home, about three weeks before she died.
Doctors say that’s right around the time Evalynn would’ve suffered a cut to her liver, Harris said.
It’s also around the time witnesses told investigators Evalynn stopped eating. Harris noted that the toddler weighed little for her age.
Still, Martin never got her child care.
“She was complicit,” Harris said. “She did nothing to stop it.”
After hearing about the injuries Evalynn suffered, Judge Joseph Massey denied Martin a bond.