Quinton Stanley, charged with murder, says baby's bathtub death was an accident (38)

Update: Earlier this month, we told you about the arrest of Quinton Stanley after a child in his care died; see our previous coverage below. Although the mother of the two year old had only been in a relationship with Stanley for two months or so, she stood by him after the tragedy -- and he maintained that the boy had died after an accidental fall, not abuse. But the Denver District Attorney's Office has now formally charged with first-degree murder. Look below for photos, video and the police report filed in the aftermath of the tragedy. The incident took place at the Star Motel, on Peoria near I-70. At about 1:39 a.m. on February 1, according to the arrest affidavit, Denver police officers responded to a room at the establishment, where Stanley and his girlfriend, Necoyia Smith, were living along with her two kids: her three-year-old daughter and two-year-old son.

Here's a photo of the boy, from 9News coverage.

Stanley had dialed 911, saying the boy had smacked his face against the rear of the bathtub and wasn't breathing.

Emergency personnel rushed to the scene and transported the child to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:37 a.m.

Smith was on the job at the time of the incident, and in conversation with investigators afterward, she said she'd left for work at around 3:30 p.m. the previous day, after bathing both kids. She added that she didn't remember any injuries on her son.

Normal bedtime for the kids was in the 9 p.m.-10 p.m. range, she noted -- but at 1 a.m., she received a text from Stanley featuring one word: "Help." He followed that with a phone call to her about the baby's accident. She told him to phone 911, then headed home before changing direction in response to another call from Stanley and heading directly to the hospital. Continue for more about the murder charge against Quinton Stanley, including additional photos, a video and more. Next came the interview with Stanley. He said he'd been in charge of watching the kids during the time their mom was at work, and while he'd fallen asleep for a time at 5 p.m., he'd checked on them in the hours afterward to make sure they were still watching TV and hadn't tried to get out; the three year old knew how to open the door, he revealed.

At about 10:45 p.m., he said he decided to make some food, and when the kids woke up while he was preparing something in the room's microwave, he fed them as well, with the boy getting so messy that he decided to give him a bath.

Upon filling the tub up to what's described as shoulder-height, Stanley said to bathed the boy, after which he decided to let the water out because it had gotten so dirty. Next, he tried to lift the boy out as he stood in the tub, but lost control of the child, who fell face first toward the rear of the tub and lost consciousness.

After pulling the boy out, Stanley maintained that he placed him over his knee and started doing back compressions, which forced both "fluid and blood" from his mouth. He subsequently attempted CPR, but to no avail, prompting his call first to Smith and secondly to 911.

What parts of this story likely gave prosecutors pause? For one thing, hospital personnel told the cops that water had come out of the boy's mouth during resuscitation efforts. In addition, a postmortem examination of the child revealed what are described as "multiple injuries to his head," as opposed to only one.

Cases like this one often generate accusations of child abuse resulting in death, and Stanley has indeed been charged with this crime by the Denver DA. But the office has also hit him with an allegation of first-degree murder. At last report, Stanley remains in custody after being formally advised of the charges against him earlier this week.

Look below to see a larger version of Stanley's mug shot, followed by the police report and a 9News piece in which Smith stands by him, as well as our previous coverage.

Quinton Stanley Arrest Report

Continue for our previous coverage of the Quinton Stanley case, including an interactive graphic. Original post, 6:50 a.m. February 3: A short time ago, we told you about a post-Super Bowl party shooting that's left a man in critical condition and a suspect at large.

But during the game, the Denver Police Department revealed an arrest in another violent and senseless crime: the death of a two-year-old boy, for which Quinton Stanley is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder.

The details are as follows.

At 1:40 a.m. on Saturday, February 1, according to the DPD, officers were called to a residence at 3850 Peoria Street.

As is shown by the interactive graphic below (if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map"), the address corresponds to a commercial part of Peoria. However, there's what appears to be a residential hotel in the area:

View Larger Map

The dispatch related to a two-year-old male child who is said to have been unconscious and not breathing.

The boy was rushed to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Identification of the child is pending a release from the Denver coroner's office, and police have thus far not revealed the relationship between the boy and Stanley, who will mark his 26th birthday next week.

However, a police investigation led to Stanley's arrest. And the suspected charge isn't child abuse resulting in death or something similar. Rather, it's first-degree murder.

Stanley remains in custody at this writing.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Mile High Murder archive circa January 23: "Maggie Leiman ID'd as victim of Army vet son's Indian Hills triple shooting (37)."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts