Jared Lee Ball, 32, was taken into custody on Wednesday, January 20.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on February 2, 2022. It has since been updated.
Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic details of abuse that may be distressing to readers.
An Arkansas man has been charged with multiple felonies, including first-degree murder, after allegedly beating his girlfriend’s one-year-old child to death. The baby was taken to Mercy Hospital and pronounced dead at 9:09 a.m. Thirty-two-year-old Jared Lee Ball of Sebastian County has been charged with the first-degree murder of a child under the age of 14 and also faces charges of domestic battery, drug possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to PEOPLE. This isn’t the first time Ball has faced charges. Back in 2018, he was arrested for domestic battery in the third degree.
Ark. Man Charged with Murder for Allegedly Punching Girlfriend's Baby's Chest, Causing Heart Laceration https://t.co/HJzs6J3irv— People (@people) January 28, 2022
A Sebastian County detective was called to the scene regarding an unresponsive child and when they arrived, Ball was "in extreme distress." They noted that two other children, aged five and three, were present. Police say they found a whole host of bruises on the baby’s body and believe that Ball punched the child in the chest, leading to her untimely death. An arrest affidavit filed with the court first obtained by KNWA/Fox24 reveals that the baby's ribcage was covered with blue bruises and that injuries "were consistent with the violent shaking that occurred on January 19." The Medical Examiner pointed out that "there was at least one forceful blow to the front of the chest which caused a laceration of the heart and hemorrhage into the pericardial sac. This was the injury primarily responsible for death" and the child's death could not have happened accidentally. The report also mentioned that the other children in the home would have been incapable of causing the injuries.
Law & Crime reported that the injured child was one year old. Ball’s girlfriend and the mother of the baby, identified as "M.C.", claimed that Ball was often physically abusive to her and her children. Just seven weeks earlier, he had punched her in the ribcage “causing her to have pain that lasted in excess of a month.” “She said that when he grabbed her by the neck, she was choking. She said, ‘my neck sounded like a harmonica because I could not breathe,’” according to the affidavit, adding that Ball “sometimes threatens to kill her.” She also noted that each altercation occurred because she told him to leave.
Prosecuting attorney Daniel Shue issued a press release stating that Ball’s bail had been set at $500,000 cash. Ball was charged with one count of third-degree domestic battery, a crime of which he has previously been convicted, and one count of aggravated assault on a family or household member. He has not yet entered a plea, and court records do not reflect an attorney authorized to speak on his behalf. He will be arraigned in the Circuit Court of Sebastian County on February 2 at 8:30 a.m.
If you are being subjected to domestic abuse or know of anyone else who is, please visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline website or call 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522.
Please see below for arrest information on 32yo Jared Lee Ball. pic.twitter.com/FUP8W6O89I— Fort Smith Police (@FortSmithPD) January 26, 2022
Representational Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Jub Rubjob