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Wasilla man charged in toddler’s death

By Hope Miller 5:06 PM April 4, 2014
WASILLA –

A Wasilla man has been charged in the death of his girlfriend’s toddler, authorities say.

Jyzyk J. Sharpe was arrested Thursday and is facing second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. He was taking care of his girlfriend’s three children in late March when one of them died from “blunt force trauma,” charging documents say.

On March 21 around 1 p.m., Wasilla police responded to a home where Sharpe says he performed CPR on 2-year-old Ezekiel Dockery, according to an affidavit filed by Officer Daniel M. Bennett.

Sharpe says he was at home and was going to give Ezekiel and the child’s twin 4-year-old sisters a shower when Ezekiel slipped and fell, Bennett wrote.

While trying to perform CPR on Ezekiel, Sharpe said he broke the boy’s ribs. A first responder interviewed by police said she did not see the boy breathing on his own “at any time,” Bennett said.

Ezekiel was taken to Mat-Su Regional Hospital and pronounced dead by staff shortly before 2 p.m. Tennille Downey, Ezekiel’s mother, said Sharpe usually takes good care of the kids and had no reason to suspect Sharpe hurt them because “he takes care of the kids as if they were his own,” Bennett wrote. She said she was at work for training when the incident occurred.

Ezekiel’s body was taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. According to Dr. Ken Gallagher, who performed the autopsy, Ezekiel had a fractured rib and a tear of the aorta arch that were “consistent with major blunt force trauma,” according to the affidavit.

Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, a child forensic medical expert, said the type of injuries Ezekiel sustained “would be consistent with those injuries she had seen inflicted on a pedestrian that had been struck by vehicle,” Bennett wrote in the affidavit.

Baldwin-Johnson added that Ezekiel’s injuries couldn’t have come from CPR, falling in the shower or from the twins.

“She indicated this injury could have only occurred from severe blunt force trauma,” Bennett said.

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