Police: Texas soldier beat daughter to death

Cars wait to enter Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, its sprawling West Texas post near the US-Mexico border. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
Cars wait to enter Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, its sprawling West Texas post near the US-Mexico border. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A Fort Bliss soldier was charged with capital murder after he fatally beat his 2-year-old daughter with a belt because she soiled her diaper, according to West Texas police.

El Paso police Det. Mike Baranyay said Dartarious Graham, 20, was arrested Sunday. He said the U.S. Army specialist beat his daughter, Peyton Graham, with the belt Saturday. Her body went limp after the beating and firefighters were called to Graham’s apartment, where they found the child unresponsive, Baranyay said. She was taken to a hospital where she later died.

Investigators determined that older bruising found on the child indicated she previously had been beaten, Baranyay said.

The child’s mother and the father’s cousin also were charged with injury to a child by omission.

Police said Elizabeth Graham, 23, was not home when the beating occurred but knew of earlier instances of abuse. Meanwhile, Robert Franklin, 19, witnessed the beating Saturday and walked away, Baranyay said.

Texas law requires that instances of child abuse be reported to authorities, he said.

Dartarious Graham was being held Sunday at the El Paso County jail on $250,000 bond. Online jail records didn’t indicate an attorney. Elizabeth Graham and Franklin also were being held, each on lesser bond.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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