Police: Stepfather beats 1-year-old St. Louis girl to death for stealing piece of cake


by Sarah Heath and Brendan Marks / KMOV.com


Posted on February 11, 2014 at 6:06 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 12 at 7:13 AM

(KMOV.com) – Investigators have issued charges against the parents of a 1-year-old found unresponsive in a north St. Louis home on Tuesday. 

Deonte Evans, 23, was charged with second-degree murder after prosecutors said he struck 1-year-old Jabria Phillips multiple times all over her body on Sunday.

According to police, Evans said the beating came after Phillips climbed onto a counter and "stole a piece of cake."

According to the charging documents Phillips on Monday demonstrated signs of being lethargic, loss in appetite and vomiting. When Phillips did not want to get out of bed on Tuesday, her mother, Shanika Evans, 23, called for emergency medical service to their home on the 1400 block of Rowan Avenue.

Click here to view photos of the scene

EMS crews arrived at 3 a.m. and thechild was transported to Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead two hours later. Homicide and child abuse detectives were then called in to investigate.

A medical examiner determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma to her torso. The M.E. also noticed Phillips had healed fractures to seven of her ribs which were indicated to have been two to three weeks old.

Evans admitted to authorities he had also struck Phillips three weeks ago, striking her upper torso.

Shanika Evans was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child after she reportedly failed to arrange for medical treatment for the child until her condition worsens.

Deonte Evans was also charged with two counts of abuse or neglect of a child and three counts of armed criminal action.  

Both are being held at the St. Louis City Jail.