‘I hurt my baby,’ capital murder jurors hear Mobile man tell police officer

MOBILE, Ala

“I hurt my baby,” he said in body camera footage played for the jury at Caldwell’s capital murder trial. He said.

Prosecutors used their opening statements to describe the defendant as a violent man who tried to cover up after severely beating 4-month-old Kendrick Cole. Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Louis Walker in 2018 while the child’s mother was at work. On May 3 at Azalea Point Apartments, the defendant told jurors he beat the child.

Caldwell, 29, did not seek medical treatment, Walker said. Three days later, the boy still hadn’t been taken to Providence Hospital, he added. The child, who was taken to the University of South Alabama Hospital, was pronounced dead by helicopter.

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“Caldwell hit him; This 4-month-old child was repeatedly injected, I hit him off the bed multiple times,” Walker said.

Defense attorney Bucky Thomas argued that his client is not “this brutal killer that the state is trying to make you believe,” but a man suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from a 2014 robbery and shooting. He said prosecutors could not meet their burden to prove Caldwell intended to kill the child.

“It’s not going to prove that he woke up and decided, ‘I’m going to kill this kid,'” he said.

Thomas told jurors to scrutinize his client’s demeanor closely when watching the video of the police interrogation.

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“He was crazy when he talked to the detectives,” he said.

At one point, Thomas said, Caldwell told investigators, “The demons are coming after me.”

A week later, prosecutors and defense attorneys on Monday agreed to let a jury hear the first death penalty case in Mobile County since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. A jury of nine men and seven women, four each.

Walker told jurors they will hear evidence that Kendrick’s brother, Kendall, was also abused.

Walker said jurors will see a text message Caldwell sent to the boys’ mother saying Kendrick fell off the bed and hit his head. Kendall allegedly pushed his brother off the bed. On May 3, 2018, the defendant provided police with the same incident.

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Walker later admitted that Caldwell had changed his story. An autopsy revealed the child had a fractured skull, the prosecutor said.

“An older man was punched multiple times,” he said. “The defendant repeatedly hit the floor of the bed.”

Testimony resumes on Tuesday.

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