A 17-year-old Gretna man was arrested on charges of aggravated rape and first-degree murder of an 8-month-old child Saturday afternoon, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said.
Arnold T. Ross, of 136 Friedrichs Road in Gretna, was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Facility. No bond is available on the first-degree murder charge.
Ross was arrested after officers responded to a call of an unresponsive infant at 1656 Gary Court, Apt. B, in Gretna.
The infant, Da-Von Lonzo, was taken to Ochsner Westbank where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, according to a release issued by Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.
The death was initially unclassified, but the Jefferson Parish coroner's office later reported it as a homicide after an autopsy of the child's body revealed multiple fractures consistent with a beating and tears in the anus.
Ross, who said he was the boyfriend of the infant's mother, initially told detectives that the baby fell down the stairs while he was babysitting, Fortunato said. But a neighbor reported hearing loud noises coming from the apartment, and investigators noted inconsistencies in Ross's account.
Ross later admitted that he beat the infant repeatedly when he would not stop crying, Fortunato said. When the child began to defecate on himself, Ross said he tried to clean it up, causing the tears, according to the release.
Ross has a record of previous arrests for possession of crack cocaine and marijuana, obscenity, battery on a correctional officer, three counts of battery on a teacher, three counts of theft, illegal carrying of a weapon and assault.
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