• Memphis mother unable to explain 2-year-old son's death, indicted for first-degree murder

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    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Memphis woman was indicted for the murder of her 2-year-old son. 

    Davida Wooden, 26, was indicted Thursday by a grand jury for first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated child neglect after the death of her child in 2018. 

    RELATED: Memphis mom couldn't explain son's injuries, charged with murder, police say

    Police said Wooden changed her story several times when describing the events that led to her son’s death. 


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    On May 10, 2018, Wooden told investigators the boy – identified as Jaylen Dodson – was with her, and he was non-responsive when she tried to wake him up. 

    The toddler was taken to Baptist East from their home on Southern Avenue, and he later died at the hospital. 

    First responders said the child had minor visible bruising around his neck and arms. 

    The next day, the 2-year-old’s death was ruled a homicide due to “multiple blunt force injuries” by the medical examiner’s office.

    ORIGINAL STORY: Mother arrested for killing 2-year-old son, police say

    Dodson’s documented injuries included a lacerated liver, lacerated spleen, multiple bruises to the arm, back, neck and head, and blunt force trauma to the brain.

    Nearly half of the child’s blood volume was found in the child’s abdomen, according to the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.

    Wooden told investigators she was the only person with the child in the two days before his death. She admitted to disciplining the toddler and said she "may have been rough to get his attention." 

    Wooden also told police her son fell down a step and hit his head on the bathtub. She said he threw up at one point, but she never got him medical treatment, according to a police affidavit.

    Police said the mother was unable to explain the boy’s massive internal injuries.

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