Deputies: Fla. mom murdered toddler because she was whining

7:02 AM, May 3, 2013   |    comments
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LECANTO, Fla. -- A Florida mother is behind bars after she reportedly confessed to murdering her toddler.

"This is a brutal murder of a defenseless child of a 2-year-old and she could have sought help of numerous occasions and she failed to do that," said Citrus County Sheriff Jeffrey J. Dawsy.

Deputies were called to a home on April 26, where 2-year-old Aliyah Marie Branum was reportedly in distress. The toddler was taken to Citrus Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

On Monday the Medical Examiner's Office ruled Aliyah's death a homicide.

According to the confession, Hugget admitted to shaking the child several time, smashing her head into a wall and she said she head-butted the toddler because she would not stop "whining."

The child's mother, 21-year-old Chelsea Huggett, is now facing charges of first degree murder and aggravated child abuse. Her first court appearance is scheduled for Friday morning.

At the time of her death, investigators say Aliyah had bruises all over her body, including her face, head, arms, legs, back and shoulders. The medical examiner also determined she had a skull fracture and hemorrhaging on the left side of her swollen brain.

Sheriff Dawsy says Huggett initially denied any involvement in Aliyah's death and even blamed her boyfriend, but eventually confessed.

The Department of Children and Families investigated Huggert at least twice since Aug 2012, but said in an email to 10 News that it found no reason to remove the child.

Huggett is currently eight months pregnant. 

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