A New Orleans man who strongly criticized Louisiana child welfare officials after his infant son’s bruises were investigated in 2021 now faces a second-degree murder charge in the death of his baby daughter.
Christopher Strickland, 42, was released on $175,000 bond after he was arrested Thursday on charges that also included cruelty to a juvenile, according to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.
Strickland is accused of shaking 5-month-old Louisa Strickland, causing severe injuries. His attorney issued a statement saying Strickland did not harm his child.
Strickland had told doctors that he had shaken the child in an attempt to revive her after finding her unresponsive. At a bond hearing Thursday, defense attorney Sarah Chervinsky said the shaking was done in response to the baby being found unresponsive.
The newspaper said records show that Strickland called 911 on Feb. 28 to report that that the baby was unresponsive in the home he shares with his wife. Strickland performed CPR on the baby and went with emergency medical technicians to Children’s Hospital, according to the warrant. The baby died two days later.
The New Orleans coroner determined that the official cause of death was complications from abusive head trauma.
In a 2021 story by WDSU-TV, Strickland and his wife Tess complained that they were subjected to a lengthy and unwarranted child abuse investigation after Tess took their son to the hospital in 2020 to check on a bruise. The boy was removed, for a time, from the parents’ home. The judge in the case eventually ordered the boy returned to the parents and was critical of state procedures, according to the station’s report.
The boy, now about 3-years-old, has again been removed from his parents’ home and placed with his grandparents, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported.