Murder Charge for Father in Maryland Toddler's Death; Mother Also Indicted

A Frederick County grand jury added a charge of first-degree murder to the allegations against a man in the death of his 21-month-old daughter.

Both parents have also been indicted on abuse charges.

Frankie and Stephanie Williams regained custody of Anayah Nevaeh Williams in February despite allegations of abuse that spanned most of the little girl's life.

She died three weeks later of internal injuries.

Frankie Williams is charged with first-degree murder, three counts of first-degree child abuse, two counts of first-degree assault, second-degree child abuse and second-degree assault, the Frederick News-Post reported.

The grand jury indictment included charges for the Sept. 2, 2012, abuse of Anayah and the assault of her younger sister, the News-Post reported.

Frankie Williams allegedly told police he had beaten Anayah the night she died.


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Stephanie Williams is charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree assault and first-degree child abuse, according to the News-Post.

The Frederick County state's attorney says Anayah should not have been returned to them.

"The bottom line is we know the abuse occurred in that household," State's Attorney Charlie Smith said. "There's been no change in that household and therefore why would you put a baby back in a household where you're convinced beyond doubt the abuse occurred with one of the household members?"

Frankie Williams has also been charged with the abuse and assault of Anayah's younger sister, Nyeli Williams. He was ordered held without bond Tuesday, the News-Post reported.

Stephanie Williams is being held on $1 million bail.

The Frederick News-Post reports that defense attorney Sun Choi told a judge Monday that Stephanie Williams played no part in her daughter's death.

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