Couple accused of neglecting two-year-old appear in Norfolk court

Back in May, the toddler was found unresponsive and rushed to the hospital. She died three days later

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- A judge certified charges against a Norfolk couple after a two-year-old toddler died.

The child’s mother, Destiny Martin, 26, and Martin’s fiancée, Robert Griffis, 25, appeared before a judge Wednesday for their preliminary hearing.

The couple faced child neglect and malicious wounding charges after police found 2-year-old Evalynn Arnold unresponsive on May 25. Medics took her to The Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters where she initially was in critical condition.

The toddler died three days later.

In court Wednesday, several witnesses took the stand, revealing new details about injuries that may have led to the toddler’s death.

Dr. Michelle Clayton, a pediatrician who specializes in child abuse cases, examined the toddler’s body after she was admitted to the hospital and was present for the autopsy.

Clayton said the toddler had several bruises on her face and injuries to her scalp caused by blunt force trauma. Clayton also said the little girl had brain swelling, caused by suffocation.

After hearing testimony, the judge said the child was clearly abused. The judge certified two charges of child neglect and one charge of malicious wounding against Griffis. One charge of child neglect was certified against Martin.

Griffis is currently behind bars at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, and Martin is out on bond.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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