NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Christopher Strickland, a New Orleans man who previously criticized Louisiana child welfare officials following an investigation into his infant son’s bruises in 2021, has now been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of his baby daughter.
Strickland, 42, was released on a $175,000 bond after his arrest on Thursday. Additional charges, including cruelty to a juvenile, have also been filed against him, according to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.
The accusations against Strickland stem from allegations that he shook his 5-month-old daughter, Louisa Strickland, resulting in severe injuries. His defense attorney released a statement asserting that Strickland did not cause harm to his child.
According to medical records, Strickland informed doctors that he had shaken the infant in an attempt to revive her after discovering her unresponsive. During a bond hearing on Thursday, Strickland’s defense attorney, Sarah Chervinsky, stated that the shaking occurred as a response to the baby’s unresponsiveness.
On February 28, Strickland dialed 911 to report that his baby was unresponsive at their shared residence. He performed CPR on the infant and accompanied emergency medical technicians to Children’s Hospital, as detailed in the warrant. Tragically, the baby passed away two days later.
The New Orleans coroner determined that the cause of death was complications from abusive head trauma.
In a 2021 news report by WDSU-TV, Christopher Strickland and his wife Tess voiced their dissatisfaction with an extensive and, in their opinion, unwarranted child abuse investigation they underwent after Tess brought their son to the hospital in 2020 to have a bruise examined. The child was temporarily removed from their home, but the judge later ordered his return and expressed criticism of the state’s procedures, according to the station’s coverage.
Currently, their 3-year-old son has once again been removed from their care and placed with his grandparents, as reported by The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.