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Tampa father charged murder in son's death

Posted: 8:31 PM, Dec 29, 2015
Updated: 2016-01-05 19:41:31Z
A Tampa father has been charged with murder in the death of his 2-month-old son, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
 
Kent Hawkins Johnson Sr., 23, initially charged with child abuse, now faces a charge of first-degree felony murder and aggravated child neglect.
 
His child, Kent Hawkins Jr., died Dec. 31, deputies said.
 
Deputies began investigating after the child arrived at a hospital last month with severe injuries.
 
The child’s injuries occurred on two separate days while he was in Johnson’s custody, according to law enforcement.
 
On Dec. 19 the child’s ribs and femur were fractured, deputies said. The child’s skull was fractured Dec. 27.
 
Johnson told law enforcement he was holding the child on his shoulders and spinning him in circles when he fell, causing the boy to hit tile floor. According to deputies, he said this is probably when the child’s ribs and leg were fractured.
 
Law enforcement said Johnson told them he purposely hit the child on the head Sunday while the boy was crying.