Daniel Cox, a 35-year-old dad and United States Army and National Guard veteran, was indicted by a Hardin County, Kentucky, grand jury Thursday, on a charge of murder by domestic violence in the bizarre and horrifying beating death of his own four-month-old baby son, Jayceon Chrystie, last week.
But in motions filed with the court, also on Thursday, Cox — through his lawyer — claims that police violated his rights under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution by interrogating him without his counsel present, according to a report Friday in the News-Enterprise newspaper.
The case has attracted attention not only for the sickening charge that the dad beat his own infant son to death — for reasons that Cox has yet to reveal — but for the bizarre and highly disturbing way the fatal attack is alleged to have taken place.
According to witnesses, Cox was driving on South Dixie Highway in Kentucky with his baby son in a car seat next to him last Thursday and at the same time repeatedly winding up and striking the baby over and over — hitting baby Jayceon with such force that Cox’s own 1998 gold Mercury Grand Marquis would swerve out of its own lane with every blow.
In between landing the horrific strikes on the helpless infant, Cox appeared to be “bouncing” to music on the car stereo and adjusting his hat, according to the witness account.
Cox, who did not live with the child, appeared at the home of the child’s mother and asked to take the baby out for a visit. Two hours later, according to the mom, he dumped the badly bruised and battered baby in the mom’s driveway and drove away.
Jayceon was rushed to a hospital and placed on a life-support device, but by Saturday night at 10:32 p.m. the baby passed away.
Cox was originally charged with child abuse, but that charge was dropped when a grand jury on Thursday returned a charge of murder. Kentucky law allows only one indictment for a single incident.
But also on Thursday, Adam Sanders, Cox’s court-appointed public defender told a judge that when he arrived to meet with his client, police were already grilling him. Sanders filed a motion asserting that Cox’s right to representation, guaranteed under the Constitution, had been violated.
Sanders also asked the court to stop the family from cremating the body of four-month-old Jayceon Chrystie, because the defense lawyers planned to consult with experts about performing their own, independent examination of the child’s cause of death.
A coroner ruled that the baby died of “inflicted traumatic injury to the head” — inflicted, the grand jury said, by Daniel Cox.
[Images: Funds For Jayceon GoFundMe, Hardin County Jail]