A 24-year-old Westchester man will spend decades behind bars after being found guilty of murder and other offenses when he beat his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter to death and seriously injured her twin.
Derran Morris, of Mount Vernon, has been sentenced to 48 years in state prison after he was convicted by a jury after less than three days of deliberation on charges that include second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and two counts of assault.
Morris had faced life in prison for his conviction.
On July 5, 2017, the mother of the twins, Monique Turner and Morris walked into Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital at approximately 5:09 p.m. carrying Addison Turner and her twin, Annalynn in their arms. It was determined that Addison was not breathing and she had no pulse and was cold to the touch. Doctors and nurses attempted to revive her for approximately 20 minutes before she was declared dead at 5:35 p.m.
Subsequently, officers from the Mount Vernon Police Department were informed that the death was suspicious.
The second twin, injured, but breathing, was transported to Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. There it was determined that she suffered life-threatening injuries, including a lacerated liver. Investigators were again notified of the injuries. She remained hospitalized for weeks.
The Medical Examiner determined that Addison Turner suffered multiple bruises, trauma and a long deep laceration to her liver resulting in extensive blood loss. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to her body and the manner of death was a homicide.
Morris was arrested two days later. It was determined that he forcefully struck Addison Turner in the abdomen, prosecutors stated. This force trauma inflicted by (Morris) caused multiple contusions, a lacerated liver, mesentery contusions, and severe internal bleeding, which resulted in the child’s death.
Morris was living with his father in a basement apartment on South Third Avenue, and the girls moved in with them because they were suffering from lead poisoning contracted in their Bridgeport, Connecticut home.
During court proceedings, lawyers for Morris blamed the mother, Monique Turner, stating that she had done something to her twin daughters. Turner returned home on the day in question to find her daughter not breathing. Morris drove them to Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital, where Addison Turner was pronounced dead. The Medical Examiner would determine that her cause of death was internal bleeding from a lacerated liver.
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