A father pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of second-degree murder and child abuse in 2012 death of his 6-month-old daughter.
Originally, investigators determined that 28-year-old Atu Campbell’s daughter Anyiah Nabors was killed in a car accident when Campbell struck a fence in Shelby County, Tennessee, according to FOX13 in Memphis.
The infant was found face-down on the floor of Campbell’s backseat. Her baby seat was upside down. Witnesses at the scene reported that the safety device had not been properly installed or secured.
An off-duty firefighter who witnessed the crash had recalled that baby Anyiah was pale and had a “stiff body type,” WREG in Memphis reported.
The firefighter reportedly watched Campbell's car go off the road and hit a tree after it struck a fence, WMC-TV in Memphis reported in 2012.
The fireman said Campbell was slumped over in the passenger seat of the car after the impact.
Mary Rogers lived on the property where the car ended up.
"They were trying to get the baby to respond, but it didn't," she told WMC-TV.
The injuries leading to little Anyiah's death were attributed to the crash. Even then, though, Nabors was charged with reckless homicide, violation of child restraint law, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.
New evidence, however, painted a different version of events — and it was not just negligent driving.
Investigators with the local DA’s Special Victims Unit later determined that Nabors suffered fractured ribs and a lacerated liver. They stated that these injuries were “not consistent with involvement in a minor traffic accident,” according to FOX13. It’s not clear how investigators think she was killed, or what Campbell’s motive was.
Campbell was sentenced to 20 years in prison without the possibility of parole for the death of his daughter.
[Photo: Shelby County District Attorney's Office]