• Autopsy of 23-month-old shows extensive injuries; man and woman charged with murder

    By: Ben Rainwater , Joshua Tucker

    Updated:

    A man and woman are charged with murder in the death of a 23-month-only Memphis girl.

    Keinosha Taper and Gregory Ford are charged with First Degree Murder in Perpetration of Aggravated Child Abuse, First Degree Murder in Perpetration of Aggravated Child Neglect, Aggravated Child Abuse and Aggravated Child Neglect.

    The charges are related to the death of Amelia Taper.

    >> RELATED: Memphis toddler dies unexpectedly; family & police seek answers

    Police were called to a home in the Ridgecrest Apartments on June 24 in response to the 23-month-old being unresponsive. She was rushed to LeBonheur in critical condition, but she died at the hospital.

    An autopsy on Amelia Taper revealed several internal injuries, according to arrest affidavits for Keinosha Taper and Gregory Ford. The reported injuries included a “fresh” liver laceration, multiple tears and lacerations internally, abdominal hemorrhaging, suspicions of punches or kicks to the abdomen, bruises on the scalp, face and head, and two rib fractures.

    The affidavit states there was evidence that some of the injuries had been healing for a week to a month.

    NiQuetta Baldridge Smith is Amelia's grandmother.  

    "I read it some of it. But adjust, I couldn't stomach it it was just it was just sickening to know the abuse that she suffered at the hands of them," Smith said. 

    Her daughter is Keinosha Taper. 

    "I've lost my grandbaby and my daughter. So, it's hard. It's really hard," Smith said. 

    >> PHOTOS: Remembering 23-month-old Amelia Taper

    Both Keinosha Taper and Gregory Ford were questioned by police.

    Keinosha told investigators she fell on Amelia during a fight with Ford the night before Amelia died, according to the affidavit. Keinosha said Ford pushed her and they tumbled onto the bed, which caused Amelia to be knocked onto the floor, and she subsequently fell onto the toddler.

    The affidavit states Keinosha told officers Amelia began throwing up when she fell on her. She also admitted to throwing the 23-month-old into the pen, which caused the girl to hit her head on the corner. That allegedly happened as the fight between the adults continued.

    6 Photos photo

    Keinosha told police she saw that Amelia was hurt, but she did not seek medical treatment at the time, according to the affidavit.

    Gregory Ford told investigators he saw Keinosha Taper “throw Amelia into the pen,” according to arrest documents. He also said some of Amelia’s injuries were from falling out of a chair.

    The affidavit states Ford told police he knew Amelia was unresponsive for around 25 minutes, but he did not call for medical assistance.

    The inconsistencies between Keinosha Taper and Gregory Ford’s stories were cited in the arresting documents.

    Investigators believe the untreated injuries are what caused Amelia’s death.


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