Father indicted in baby’s death

YOUNGSTOWN — An Austintown man was indicted Wednesday on murder charges in the death of an infant.

Christian Sumpter, 24, 327 N. Roanoke Ave., was indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury on two counts of murder and one count each of aggravated murder and endangering children, court records state. Sumpter is accused of purposely causing the death of his 5-month-old daughter, Adaleah Sumpter, the indictment states.

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death of Adaleah a homicide from blunt-force trauma to the head. Sumpter, who was arrested on a warrant for an unrelated crime the day of his daughter’s death, and again several days later on a felonious assault charge in another unrelated crime, is in the Mahoning County Jail.

Police were called to Sumpter’s home on North Roanoke Avenue on the evening of Sept. 2 regarding a report that a child was injured, according to Austintown police Chief Bob Gavalier. Adaleah was flown to Akron Children’s Hospital with head injuries, where she died. Police began to investigate the death as a homicide when the coroner ruled the injuries were caused by blunt force, Gavalier said.

Sumpter told police he was tossing the baby in the air when he yawned and lost control of her, Gavalier said. The father told police the baby then fell and hit his knee and a coffee table, Gavalier said. Sumpter told police he put his foot out to stop her fall, but she hit his ankle then fell to the floor and hit her head on two vape batteries, a police report states.

Adaleah’s grandmother told police that every time the father watched the child, something happened and that about a month ago an accident occurred in the bathroom, the report states.

Police found a glass marijuana pipe on an end table in the living room and Sumpter told police he last smoked at 5 a.m. that day, the report states. Police also found a small, marijuana cigarette in the bathroom near the baby’s bathtub, the report states.