MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Police Department announced on Friday afternoon, April 26 that they have arrested Devante Randall, a Franklin man charged in the death of an infant and abuse of another child.
On Thursday, April 25, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office criminally charged Randall, 26, with the following:
- First degree reckless homicide, neglecting a child – consequence is death
- Physical abuse of a child (intentional causation of bodily harm)
- Neglecting a child – consequence is bodily harm
Milwaukee police say Randall was taken into custody around 1:20 p.m. near 22nd and Hopkins. A citizen recognized Randall -- and provided information regarding his whereabouts to police. Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales stated in a news release, "Let's continue to work together to make Milwaukee a safer place to live, work and raise a family."
Details of the alleged crimes
According to the criminal complaint, a Milwaukee police officer was dispatched to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin around 8:45 p.m. on Monday, April 22 to investigate a child abuse complaint. The officer was advised a 6-month-old boy was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit -- suffering from bleeding on the brain and a skull fracture. Officials indicated the child's injuries were "severe and life threatening."
The child's mother told officials she had left her two children, including the infant, in the care of Randall that day while she worked. The complaint indicates starting shortly before 6 p.m. on Monday, Randall sent the mother a series of text messages trying to get her attention about the children. She was not replying. So Randall drove to the mother's workplace. When the mother came out of the workplace, she "observed (the infant) lifeless and not breathing." Randall claimed "he was visiting family near 40th and Hampton when he heard gunshots. The defendant attempted to run away while holding (the infant) and (the 2-year-old) but fell." The complaint indicates Randall and the mother got into the car and drove to Children's Hospital."
When they got to the hospital, the complaint says the mother "believed the defendant was going to park the car, come inside...and tell hospital staff exactly what happened." But Randall never came inside.
After a thorough exam of the infant, hospital officials determined the child had significant injuries. Officials noted this "type of force can be seen when a child is violently shaken, slammed, and/or thrown." The child was unresponsive and put on a ventilator -- and died shortly after midnight on Thursday, April 25.
Prior to going to the mother's workplace on April 22, Randall had apparently met up with the mother's father -- and left him with the 2-year-old child. The father "observed (the 2-year-old) to have significant bruising and scrapes to the face." He took the child to Children's Hospital. Officials there determined the child had two broken legs in addition to the bruising and scrapes. They indicated the "injuries are diagnostic for child physical abuse."
"For someone to do this, to physically bring this upon a child -- it's hard to believe," said Tamera Winzer, great aunt of the infant.
"What kind of monster does something like this?" said Tameka Brown, surviving 2-year-old's aunt. "Both of my nephew's legs were broke."
FOX6 News reached out to the mother's side of the family. We were told -- no comment. However, FOX6 News has confirmed the mother of the children is now also in police custody.