Walden returned from lunch to Rocket Tiers Learning Center just east of downtown and found baby Reese would not sleep. She slapped the girl in the crib. She pinned the infant down with one arm; Reese kicked her legs. Walden snatched her from the crib. She pushed her back down. Then she piled blankets over the child’s face.
Reese, who was 8 months and 19 days old, suffocated to death May 23, 2017. Surveillance cameras inside the day care center captured the crime.
In court Tuesday, Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said Walden had told a co-worker, “Girl, I’m frustrated … I’m sick of this little b---. I hate this little b--- … She makes me want to punch her in the face.”
The video shows Reese motionless in the crib, Leitess told the court.
While the prosecutor spoke, a woman in the gallery raised a pink baby book to her lips. The woman kissed a photo of Reese on the cover.
The couple sold their house, left their jobs and moved away from Baltimore. It was all too much, he said, to live amid the stabbing reminders. He cries at the sight of another father holding a little girl.
He doesn’t DJ part-time anymore, he said. He doesn’t see his old friends. He rarely goes out.
“I have changed and I hate it,” he told the judge.
His brother stood beside him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders.
Something happened after his baby girl was murdered, the father went on. Bowman saw other parents hug their children tighter. He noticed adults call their own parents more.
In his daughter’s short life, he said, Reese inspired them all. Just consider the funeral crowd that filled the basilica.
Then the grieving father turned toward Walden, who sat at the attorney table by him.