A Tennessee father has been found guilty of murder after investigators found he took drugs and fell on top of his young daughter, slowly choking her to death.
Harley Kemp Craddock was 4 months old when she died on April 3, 2021, after her father, 40-year-old Jesse Wayne Craddock, overdosed on fentanyl and collapsed on top of her for more than 10 minutes. The little girl died of suffocation, as revealed by the autopsy, according to local police.
After a four-day trial, a Wilson County jury on Thursday found Craddock guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child neglect and simple possession of fentanyl, the Lebanon Police Department (LPD) said in a statement shared on Facebook.
Craddock is scheduled for a sentencing hearing in November, the department said.
news week contacted the LPD via email and Facebook on Saturday for comment.
On the day of the incident, LPD along with the Lebanon Fire Department and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency responded to a 911 call at the Travel Inn on Murfreesboro Road in Lebanon, Tennessee, located approximately 30 miles from Nashville, LPD said.
After arriving on the scene, officers found a “disoriented” Craddock and an “unresponsive” infant outside a motel room, LPD said, adding that CPR was immediately administered to the infant. The baby and her father were transported to Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital, however the 4-month-old girl was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital, according to LPD.
After being treated at the hospital, Craddock was found in possession of “suspicious narcotics” and released into police custody, the department said.
During the preliminary investigation into the girl’s death, LPD said investigators learned that Craddock had left the girl in her care while her mother was at work.
The department said that evidence gathered during the “intensive and thorough investigation involving multiple agencies” along with the autopsy that concluded the baby died of asphyxiation, investigators determined that Craddock “fell on top of the child while under the influence of Fentanyl and remained there until the child died.”
Investigators also obtained surveillance footage from the area showing Craddock falling on the girl and remaining there for approximately 13 minutes, the local outlet reported. the tennessean reports.
Prosecutors noted that before being convicted of his daughter’s murder, Craddock was in prison for probation violation.
“The Lebanese Police Department is pleased with the verdict that was handed down today and we thank all the agencies that helped us achieve this verdict,” LPD Chief Justice Mike Justice said in the statement that was released. shared on facebook the Thursday following Craddock’s conviction.