TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged an Arkansas man in the beating death of his girlfriend’s 15-month-old son. Dedric Lamar Greer, 31, was charged with murder in the second degree for punching the boy in the abdomen, causing fatal injuries. Greer pleaded not guilty and is being held in lieu of $2 million bail.
“This is one of those crimes that are impossible to explain,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “The defendant could be facing an exceptional sentence because of the vulnerability of the victim.”
On the morning of July 18, 2015, Greer and the victim’s mother took the boy to the hospital because he appeared “stiff” and was unresponsive. Doctors determined the boy had been dead for some time and notified police.
The night before, the boy’s mother left Greer alone with the boy for an hour. When she returned, the boy was sick, listless and had been throwing up.
Greer told detectives that the boy had choked on a rock and he performed the Heimlich maneuver to make him spit up the rock. He claimed he got the rock out of the boy’s mouth but continued to give him the Heimlich maneuver several more times.
The children that lived in the home told detectives they saw Greer grab the boy by the neck, throw him on the bed and say, “Stupid baby, go to sleep!” They also said Greer pushed his fists into the boy’s stomach, and hit him in the head with a flat iron.
The medical examiner concluded that the boy died from blunt force injury to the abdomen. He also found scars of varying age and believes the same abdominal trauma had been occurring for weeks.
Greer, his girlfriend and the boy had only been in the area for a few days after travelling on a bus from Arkansas to Tacoma.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office