Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Affidavit: Woman repeatedly shook, dropped toddler

By: JAKOB RODGERS
December 13, 2011
0
photo - Melissa Alexander Photo by Courtesy of the Colorado Springs Police Department
Melissa Alexander Photo by Courtesy of the Colorado Springs Police Department 

A Colorado Springs woman told police she repeatedly shook and dropped her boyfriend’s 1-year-old daughter in the days and hours before the toddler fell unconscious.

Melissa Alexander, 27, is suspected of first-degree murder in the death of Jocilynn Graham, who was hospitalized in mid-November while her father was away for Army training.

Alexander is being held in the El Paso County jail without bond.

After nearly a month in the hospital, doctors took Jocilynn off a feeding tube on Wednesday. She died two days later in a hospice center, according to an arrest affidavit.

Alexander had been caring for several children in the days before her arrest in mid-November. She has a 2-year-old son and often babysat a neighbor’s 7-month-old child.

Alexander also had been caring for Jocilynn since mid-October while her father, Matt Strickland, trained in Louisiana for overseas deployment.

She initially told police that she was putting on makeup when she heard a “thud” and found Jocilynn in another room on the floor, unresponsive.

While being questioned by three detectives, though, Alexander admitted repeatedly abusing Jocilynn, the affidavit said.

She told police she threw a sippy cup at Jocilynn two days before Jocilynn was taken to the hospital. She threw the cup hard, according to the affidavit, on an “8 or 9 out of 10 on a scale of 1-10.”

Alexander also told police she almost dropped Jocilynn that day while walking across a parking lot. She grabbed the toddler by her forearm right before she hit the pavement.

On Nov. 8, Alexander shook Jocilynn for 10-15 seconds while babysitting at a neighbor’s house, the affidavit said. She walked away from the child after “tossing” her on the touch.

A few minutes later, she shook Jocilynn again, this time because Alexander was upset that Jocilynn had fallen asleep, the affidavit said.

She told police that she shook Jocilynn “not that hard, like a 4. I’ve shaken my son harder.”

Alexander gave several accounts of what happened on Nov. 9, when Jocilynn was hospitalized.

At 12:15 p.m. that day, Alexander’s neighbor stopped by the house and saw Jocilynn smile and wave, the affidavit said.

Fifteen to 30 minutes later, Alexander rushed to that neighbor’s home saying Jocilynn was gasping for air and unresponsive.

When pressed by one detective, Alexander said she pushed Jocilynn backwards onto the floor while changing the toddler's diaper.

Alexander later told another detective that she let Jocilynn — who was wiggling and crying — fall while carrying her to change her diaper, according to the affidavit. The back of Jocilynn’s head hit the floor.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This version corrects the victim's last name.

 

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.