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Charge upgraded to murder after toddler’s death

Posted by Sandra On April - 1 - 2010
Orionis L Barron-Taylor

Orionis L Barron-Taylor died Saturday, just six days after turning 2 years old. (Family photo)
HAZELWOOD — Charges against a man accused of beating a toddler left in his care have been upgraded to murder, after an investigation of the girl’s death.

Marquicio Johnson, 34, was indicted March 17 by a St. Louis County grand jury in the death of 2-year-old Orionis Barron-Taylor, who died in December.

Johnson faces two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of abuse of a child resulting in death and one count of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

The charges say he subjected the child to “cruel and inhumane punishment by means of blunt force trauma” and by delaying medical care.

Marquicio Johnson

“She had whip marks down her back,” the girl’s mother, Euranus Barron, of Chicago, told the Post-Dispatch.

Police said Orionis had been sent from Chicago to Hazelwood to live with her great-aunt after a report — later ruled unfounded — that she drank a bottle of Benadryl.

Weeks later, police got a frantic call from Johnson, the great-aunt’s boyfriend, who was watching the child while the woman was working an overnight shift at a nursing home. He told them Orionis was unconscious. Paramedics rushed the girl to a hospital, where she was declared brain-dead.

Police said the girl was abused Dec. 16 inside the home in the 200 block of Chapel Ridge Drive in Hazelwood, and died Dec. 19.

When she arrived at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, Orionis was in cardiac arrest, according to a police affidavit. She had bruises on her back and buttocks. Her left hand was burned by some kind of liquid.



By the time you finish reading this, 15 children will have been abused; In the next five minutes, 30 more; Within the next hour, 360 more; And by tonight, close to 8,000+ children will have suffered from abuse, 5 of which will die. Child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now considered a worldwide epidemic. The high jump in child abuse deaths and the shocking increase in statistics highlights the frightening lack of public knowledge.
Educate Yourself--Learn the Facts--It may Just Save a Child's Life!!

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