Police say Ashley Clark swung her 1-year-old stepdaughter into a door and threw her several feet.
SIKESTON, Mo. -- A Sikeston woman was charged Wednesday in the death of her stepdaughter, accused of throwing her into a chair and swinging her into a door.
Devionah Clark, 1, died Tuesday afternoon at Children's Hospital in St. Louis, according to a news release from the Sikeston Department of Public Safety.
The child's stepmother, Ashley Clark, 23, of 201 Clayton Ave., was charged with first-degree murder and child abuse. She was originally charged with first-degree assault, but the charge was upgraded Wednesday following the child's death.
Sikeston police received a 911 call at 5:45 p.m. Monday and arrived in the 500 block of Carroll Street to find Devionah unresponsive and not breathing, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed in the case.
The child was resuscitated, taken to Missouri Delta Medical Center and then transferred by helicopter to Children's Hospital, where she later died.
The affidavit said that during an interview with police, Clark admitted she swung the child by her arms in her home Monday. On the third swing, Devionah dropped more than 4 feet to the floor. The defendant also said she swung the child into a door and threw her several feet into a chair multiple times over two days, according to the affidavit.
Devionah suffered swelling of the brain, bleeding inside the eyes and "traumatic" brain injury consistent with physical abuse, stated a letter by an attending physician at Children's Hospital included in the affidavit.
Clark said she was stressed and caused the injuries because Devionah was crying, according to police.
A $200,000 bond originally set for Clark was later revoked when the charge became murder. She is being held without bond.
The Department of Social Services' Children's Division is investigating the death, according to department spokeswoman Ana Compain-Romero. The department has had no prior contact with Devionah, she said.
Compain-Romero declined to comment on whether Clark had ever been investigated, citing privacy policies.
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