Crime Lab: Infant death was in manner of homicide

After two months of investigation, Saline County authorities charged a father with capital murder in the death of an infant.

A father returned from Army National Guard boot camp this summer and about a month later authorities said he shook his baby to death.

Devin Dewayne Hunt of Bryant remains behind bars Tuesday evening with no bond after a three-month long investigation into the death of his four-month-old daughter, Presley.

The child's mother, Ashley Hunt, fed her daughter on June 20 right before she headed to work. Then, a few hours later she received a startling call.

"She gets a phone call later that evening stating that Devin and his mother had taken the baby to the emergency room," said Sgt. Todd Crowson with Bryant Police Department.

According to the police report Devin Hunt and his mother, Ronaee Hamby, both declined an interview with police that evening.

Head physician with Team for Children At Risk (TCAR) later ruled the injuries were caused by abusive head trauma. This included swelling and bleeding in the brain as well as retinal hemorrhaging.

A chief medical examiner with the Arkansas State Crime Lab ruled the infant's head injuries came in a manner of homicide.

Now, many wonder what led to those injuries.

"In fact he didn't even have a criminal record at all, no criminal history at all," Crowson added. "You know that's the big question with the family members, along with the police too is 'why did this happen?'"

"We do know that in terms of deaths there are more deaths in the age range of zero to three-years-old. We know those children are really the most vulnerable children," added Amy Webb with the Department of Human Services.

Webb cites a main factor to many horrible cases involving that age range.

"Those kids can do a lot of crying because that's really the only way they can communicate, especially the younger end of that spectrum," she added.

The Hunts also have a 2-year-old son and we confirmed Court Appointed Special Advocates worked to get custody of that child.

Police say the child is now in custody of his maternal grandparents.