published Friday, May 30th, 2014

Aunt pleads guilty to murder in death of 3-month-old niece

The aunt of a 3-month-old infant who died of skull fractures in 2012 has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with the girl’s death.

Jessica Fax, 29, was sentenced to 35 years this morning in Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman’s courtroom.

Prosecutor Charlie Minor said it was a tragic situation and the family did not wish to relive the horror in a trial.

Jeremy Fry, the father of Elizabeth Mia Fry, discovered his daughter’s dead body at about 10 a.m. on Oct. 9, 2012 in his 5909 Fort Sumter Drive home.

A later examination would show the baby suffered five major skull fractures and died from those injuries.

Fax had been watching her niece while Fry and the girl’s mother were working. She did not say anything happened to the baby and didn’t call an ambulance.

The baby had been dead for six to eight hours when her father found her body.

Under police questioning, Fax said she’d dropped the baby in padded, carpeted area. But the injuries did not align with her version of events. She was charged and then indicted for felony murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect.

For more contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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