Baltimore officer charged in death of son in Howard

A suspended Baltimore police officer was charged yesterday with first-degree murder and child abuse in the beating death Sunday of his 19-month-old son, Howard County police said.

Baltimore police officers arrested Officer Carl William Morris Jr. of the 6400 block of Barchink Place in Columbia at his attorney's office in Baltimore about 5:30 p.m. yesterday, said Dennis S. Hill, a Baltimore police spokesman.


Officer Morris, 32, has been an officer in the Southwestern District for five years, Mr. Hill said.

At the time of his son's death, Officer Morris was on suspension without pay in connection with another incident. He will remain suspended, Mr. Hill said.


Mr. Hill said he had no details about the earlier suspension.

Howard County police said Officer Morris had been charged in Prince George's County with assault with intent to maim and possession of a handgun in the commission of a felony. Those charges were filed in November in connection with a domestic incident, they said.

Officer Morris' 19-month-old son, Christopher, was taken to St. Agnes Hospital Sunday after the officer called paramedics to his home. Paramedics found Christopher unconscious with bruises on his forehead and abdomen, and Officer Morris told them that the child had fallen down a flight of stairs, Howard County police said.

Christopher was later transferred to the Pediatric Trauma Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he died at 11 p.m.

An autopsy showed that he died as a result of multiple blunt force trauma to the abdomen.