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1-year-old’s death from ‘severe injuries’ days after Easter leads to serious charges against two suspects

Tracorvis Strickland, Cornelia Roberts

Tracorvis Strickland, Cornelia Roberts (Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office)

Two suspects are under arrest in Duval County, Florida, after a 1-year-old with “severe injuries” died days after being brought to the hospital on Easter Sunday, authorities announced.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said that the young victim, identified only as a 1-year-old child, “had been transported to a local hospital with multiple severe injuries” on April 9. Over the course of the investigation, authorities said, it was determined that both Travcorvis Levon Strickland, 39, and Cornelia Pa’dreka Roberts, 21, played a role in the baby’s death.

The sheriff’s office said it began by assisting an investigation by the Florida Department of Children and Families, the state social services agency.

After it became clear that the “severity” of the 1-year-old’s injuries might turn the case into a homicide investigation, the sheriff’s office said investigating Special Assault Unit detectives began a joint probe with the Homicide Unit. Tragically, the victim died four days after being brought to the hospital, according to the sheriff’s office.

“During the ensuing investigation, detectives reviewed the available evidence and conducted interviews with those potentially having access to the child,” authorities said, indicating that the two suspects had such access and were, therefore, responsible for the 1-year-old’s fatal injuries. The sheriff’s office said nothing specific about how the suspects are linked to one another or the victim.

Strickland was booked into jail in Duval County at 8:51 p.m on Saturday, April 15. Records say that Strickland faces charges of aggravated child abuse and second-degree murder, charges that could put him behind bars for life if proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Strickland has been declared indigent and was appointed a public defender, according to the court docket. His bond was set at $500,000.

The sheriff’s office, citing an interview of co-defendant Roberts, described the second suspect’s role in the baby’s death as “key.” Roberts faces aggravated manslaughter of a child by culpable negligence, a first-degree felony charge punishable upon conviction by up to 30 years. Roberts was booked at 5:23 p.m. on Tuesday. It’s unclear if she has an attorney at this time.

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.