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Buffalo toddler who died had 167 bruises, medical examiner says

Rickii Brown kissed her 2-year-old son goodbye when she left for work before 7 a.m. Jan. 7. On the phone, during her lunch break later that day, would be the last time she talked to him.

A couple of hours later, Brown was holding the toddler's unconscious body in her arms. He wasn't breathing. Brown's boyfriend had told her she needed to come home because there was "something wrong with my son," Brown testified Thursday in Buffalo City Court.

Jordan Thomas Robinson Jr. had been in the care of Nathaniel J. Baker, Brown's boyfriend, at their Theodore Street apartment. Baker, 23, was charged Jan. 8 with second-degree murder in the child's killing. Baker, who has pleaded not guilty, is not the child's biological father.

An autopsy found Jordan died of blunt-impact injuries to the head and torso. Dr. Katherine F. Maloney, deputy chief of the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office, testified Thursday that there were 208 injuries over the boy's body, including 167 bruises.

At least 20 of the bruises were on the child's head, but so many were overlapping it was difficult to determine the precise number, Maloney testified.

The autopsy also found bleeding around Jordan's brain, several rib fractures, bruising to both lungs and tearing of the liver and spleen.

All of the injuries were inflicted within four hours of the time he died, Maloney said.

Nathaniel J. Baker, 23. (Photo courtesy of Erie County District Attorney's Office)

Police were called to Erie County Medical Center at 4:20 p.m. Jan. 7 after Brown and Baker brought Jordan there. He was dead by the time they got to the hospital, prosecutors have said.

The three were driven to the hospital by Baker's brother, Brown testified. She and Baker had been dating almost a year and they had been living together about four months, the 21-year-old said on the witness stand.

The couple had recently been arguing often, Brown testified. Those arguments had gotten physical, though he had never been violent with Jordan, she said.

By the time officers got to the hospital the afternoon of Jan. 7, Baker had already left, according to police.

Investigators believed Baker may have gone to his sister's apartment on Sanders Road, where he later surrendered peacefully after about a three-hour standoff with police. He had been inside alone with a 5-month-old and a 1-year-old child, police said.

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When she took the stand in court Thursday morning during Baker's felony hearing, Brown sat down, faced the defense table directly in front of her and appeared to be staring directly at Baker, who was wearing orange inmate garb and sitting between his assigned defense attorneys, John M. Ange and Daniel J. DuBois. When her testimony was over, she exited the witness stand, walked past the table and, while looking at Baker, called him a "monster."

The felony hearing was originally scheduled to be held Jan. 17, but it was postponed so Brown could attend her son's wake.

In October 2018, Baker was charged in a domestic incident on Bailey Avenue in which he was accused of strangling a woman, punching her in the face, breaking her cellphone and running from police, according to a Buffalo police report. He was charged with felony criminal mischief, criminal obstruction of breathing, misdemeanor assault and other charges. He pleaded guilty to harassment and was sentenced to time served, according to court records.

City Court Judge Barbara Johnson-Lee ordered Baker to continue to be held without bail. He remains in custody at the Erie County Holding Center.

Man charged with murder in death of girlfriend's 2-year-old son

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