Police: New Mexico father beat daughter to death after she refused to do homework

Courtesy: Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- A man was arrested Friday in the beating death of his 5-year-old daughter, Albuquerque police said, noting the girl had bruising patterns consistent with the tread of a shoe.

Brandon Reynolds, 36, was charged with child abuse resulting in death in a criminal complaint that says he told police he became upset with his daughter and started spanking her before “blanking out.” He said he had become angry when she told him she did not want to do her homework.

The death marks the latest in a series of brutal cases in recent years linked to household child abuse in Albuquerque, including the 2014 death of 9-year-old Omaree Varela, who died from internal bleeding after authorities said he was beaten by his mother.

The cases have sparked calls from politicians to enact reforms.

“How many times do we have to talk about this?” Officer Simon Drobik said outside police headquarters. “It’s unfortunate. It’s horrific.”

Online court records did not list an attorney for Reynolds who could comment on his behalf.

Drobik said authorities responded to a 911 call early Friday reporting that a child was not breathing. Reynolds had initially told police that his daughter had stopped breathing as the two were falling asleep and that he had taken her to the living room of their residence, according to the complaint.

Police said they found blood stains on the wall of the living room and carpet. The victim had suffered bruising all over her body, including her back, neck, stomach, left arm, chest, ear and legs, according to the complaint.

After his arrest, Reynolds said he did not know what came over him after he started spanking his daughter with a water slipper around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, according to the complaint.

He said he tried to cradle her after she became lethargic and then placed her in bed, where he put his ear on her chest to make sure she was still breathing. He called authorities while trying to render aid, he said.

Police said they believed only the father and daughter lived at the residence in southeast Albuquerque, and that they had moved to New Mexico from California several weeks ago.