New Mexico Father Beat 5-Year-Old Daughter to Death for Not Doing Homework, Police Say

A New Mexico man was arrested and charged with intentional child abuse resulting in the death of a child under 13 last week after he beat his 5-year-old daughter to death for not doing her homework, Albuquerque police say.

Brandon Reynolds, 36, said he was assisting his daughter with her homework from school on Thursday when she expressed her refusal to complete it, according to a criminal complaint. Reynolds, who was enraged at his daughter's attitude towards homework, decided to discipline her by spanking her with a shoe at around 8.30 p.m. He then claims to have "blacked out."

At around 1 a.m. on Friday, Reynolds phoned 911, emergency services, to report that his daughter had gone into cardiac arrest. After emergency responders were unable to revive the child, she was immediately transported to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

"The Fire Department and AFR received a 911 call at 1 a.m. this morning of a child in cardiac arrest. The AFR arrived at the scene and administered medical treatment before transporting that child to the hospital," an Albuquerque Police Department (APD) spokesperson said on Friday at a press conference live-streamed to Facebook. "That child, a five-year-old girl, was declared deceased at the hospital. [We] learnt from hospital staff that the girl suffered serious injuries."

"When rescue arrived, they realized this was turning into a criminal situation and they called us and we took over the investigation," another APD spokesperson added. "AFR recognized right away that this wasn't consistent with what they were being told and it became a criminal investigation."

Police noted at the press conference that the investigation is currently active and more information will be released at a later date. Authorities also revealed there were no other children in the house at the time of the incident and that police were not aware of any past events of a similar nature related to Reynolds or the victim.

An investigation conducted by authorities and the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department found blood on the walls and carpet of the living room where the incident occurred. Authorities said the girl, who has not been formally named, was covered in bruises and other serious injuries, allegedly from being beaten with the shoe.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, court records show that Reynolds had full custody of the victim after a falling out with her mother, Chantal Smith. A custody battle for the child led a court hearing officer, who had concerns with Smith's marijuana use, to determine that she ought to be in the care of her father.

The Albuquerque Police Department did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for further comment.

Brandon Reynolds, 36, was arrested for beating his 5-year-old daughter to death because she didn't do her homework, police said last week. Albuquerque Metropolitan Detention Center