Babysitter accused of killing toddler in his care indicted

Posted at 12:57 PM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-17 14:57:00-04

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    Davidson County, TN (WSMV) — A 26-year-old man charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse for the severe trauma-related death of a three-year-old girl he was babysitting has been indicted.

The Davidson County Grand Jury issued a nine-count indictment during its meeting last week.

Christopher J. Riley was indicted on charges of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect and child abuse.

Police said he was arrested as the result of the investigation into the death of Laylani Rose Stevens.

The toddler was taken to St. Thomas Hospital West by her mother late on May 26 and was transferred to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital with extensive head and other internal and external injuries, according to police. Laylani died on May 27.

The investigation found that Laylani’s mother asked Riley, a friend, to watch her daughter while she was at work on May 26 afternoon/evening. Laylani’s mom had been unable to arrange for another babysitter.

Her mother told police that upon returning to her Highway 70 home at 10 p.m. Saturday, she found Laylani unresponsive and immediately drove her to St. Thomas West.

Laylani’s mother said that her daughter was uninjured when she left work.

Police said Riley told the mother that Laylani’s injuries had been caused by falls. However, doctors found her extensive injuries to be inconsistent with falling.

Riley was arrested on May 31 and remains in jail. His arraignment has been set for Sept. 26.

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