A 20-year-old man, out on bond on a charge of second-degree murder, will be arraigned today on a first-degree murder charge in the death of his 2-year-old daughter.
Police believe D'Andre Blake hit his daughter, Dre-Ona, several times Monday night while potty-training her. He lived with the girl and her mother in the second floor, corner unit in the 1200 block of Turkey Run Lane at Highland Creek Apartments off Winchester.
The toddler was pronounced dead at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center. Police officers at the hospital said the child suffered multiple wounds, bruises and trauma to her body.
Blake told police the girl became ill after eating a bologna sandwich. But the cause of death was ruled to be blunt force trauma.
He was charged with first-degree murder in perpetration of an aggravated child abuse.
Blake was out of jail on $200,000 bond in the Feb.15, 2006, killing of 21-year-old Ray Anthony Berry, who was shot during a robbery in Parkway Village.
Blake moved into the apartment a few months ago with his girlfriend and their daughter, neighbors said.
Bernice Reaves, who lives next door, said the last time she saw the toddler was Saturday when she was in the parking lot with her mother, who was taking trash to the Dumpster.
"The baby used to come over and play with my dolls while her mom borrowed my phone," said Reaves. "I didn't even know the baby's name. She was very cute and sweet."
Reaves and another neighbor, Cathy McGee, who lives below the couple, said the pair argued a lot and played music so loudly that pictures fell off their walls.
Both neighbors started hanging pictures up with two nails.
Between beats of the thundering "boom, boom boom" of the music's bass, McGee said she could hear the patter of Dre-Ona running back and forth in the apartment.
No one has been home since Monday after the police finished their investigation.
Contact Cindy Wolff at 529-2378. To read more stories by this reporter, click on "Contact Us" at commercialappeal.com, then click on the reporter's name.