‘Abhorrent:' Fairfax Co. Police Officer Arrested in Death of Baby Daughter

Former officer Jason Colley was arrested on first degree child abuse and assault charges, police say

A Fairfax County police officer was arrested Tuesday and charged in the assault and death of his 6-month-old daughter.

Jason Colley, 38, of Monrovia, Maryland, is charged with child abuse and assault. He was relieved of police duties in April, when he was identified as a suspect, police said.

Harper Colley was gravely injured on Sept. 19, the State's Attorney for Frederick County said. She died on Oct. 31, Fairfax Police said.

Frederick County State's Attorney Charlie Smith said the girl suffered head trauma and coroners ruled the cause of death as abusive head trauma, the Associated Press reported.

Maryland State Police launched an investigation and found Harper Colley's father at fault.

It wasn't until nearly six months after the baby's death — on April 20 — that Fairfax Police say they were informed that Colley was a suspect. He was placed on paid administrative leave and relieved of his law enforcement duties, police said.

Colley was indicted by Maryland authorities Monday on charges of first-degree child abuse resulting in death, first-degree child abuse resulting in physical injury and first-degree felony assault. He turned himself in to Frederick County police Tuesday morning, police said.

The Frederick News-Post reported that Colley's lawyer maintained his client's innocence.

"He is emphatically asserting his innocence," he said, according to the paper. "We think in a jury trial the truth will come out and he will be found not guilty."

Fairfax County Police started the process of firing Colley, the chief said.

"The charges Colley faces are abhorrent," Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said in a statement. "This afternoon I served Colley notice of separation from employment in accordance with Fairfax County Personnel Regulations and the Code of Virginia."

Colley is being held on $100,000 bond. A trial date is pending.

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