Murder charges: Minneapolis dad punched baby girl 22 times

A Minneapolis man is now charged with murder in the death of his 4-month old daughter at their Prospect Park home. Cory Morris, 21, is charged with second-degree murder for allegedly punching the baby girl in her face and chest to quiet her "baby talk."

According to the charges, Morris called police shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13 and admitted he had just killed his daughter.  When police arrived, they found the 4-month-old unconscious on a changing table.

Morris, who was alone watching the child at the time of the incident, told first responders he punched the child approximately 15 times in the face and 7 times in the chest with a closed fist, then squeezed her chest with his hands in an attempt to quiet her. The Hennepin County medical examiner confirmed the baby died from blunt force trauma.

“After he did this he called both his mother and his wife and said, ‘I did something bad,’ but didn’t tell them what he actually did,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Morris told police he was watching TV when his daughter began making “baby talk” noises. He took the baby out of her swing and carried her into a bedroom, placing her on a changing table. Morris said he started punching the baby because she continued to make noises.

According to the criminal complaint, Morris was left to care for the baby girl 3 to 4 times per week while his girlfriend worked. His girlfriend reported that Morris went from happy to mad easily, and has grabbed her or thrown things in the past.

“Family members have suggested there may be mental health issues here," Freeman said. "These will need to be evaluated during the course of this case.”

According to a search warrant filed in Hennepin County, investigators took a blood sample from Morris to test for alcohol or drugs. The criminal complaint does not disclose the results of that test.

Morris remains in the Hennepin County Jail, with bail set at $2 million. His first court appearance is scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 17.