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Babysitter indicted on murder, other charges in death of 3-year-old girl

**EMBARGO: Nashville, TN** Christopher J. Riley, 26, has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

DAVIDSON COUNTY, Tenn. — A 26-year-old man charged with first degree murder and aggravated child abuse for the severe trauma-related death of a 3-year-old girl he was babysitting has been indicted.

A grand jury issued a nine-count indictment against Christopher Riley — filing charges of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect and child abuse.

Police said he was arrested as the result of the investigation into the death of Laylani Stevens.

The toddler was taken to the hospital by her mother late on May 26 and was transferred to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital with extensive head and other internal and external injuries, according to police. Stevens died on May 27.

The investigation found that Stevens’ mother asked Riley, a friend, to watch her daughter while she was at work during the afternoon/evening of May 26. Stevens’ mother had been unable to arrange for another babysitter.

Her mother told police that upon returning to her home, she found her daughter unresponsive, and immediately drove her to the hospital. She said her daughter was uninjured when she left.

Police said Riley told the mother that her daughter’s injuries had been caused by falls. However, doctors found her extensive injuries to be inconsistent with falling.

Riley was arrested on May 31 and remains in jail. His arraignment has been set for Sept. 26.

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