Dead toddler had severe blunt force injuries

Clifford James Gayton, 18, of Texarkana Texas

A 2-year-old found dead last month in his mother’s Texarkana, Texas home suffered severe blunt force trauma, according to court records.

Little Da’Corian Wright’s mother thought he and his 1-year-old sister were sleeping when she got home from work Jan. 28 at about 9:15 p.m., according to a probable cause affidavit. She had been at work since 3 p.m. and had left her children in the care of her boyfriend, 18-year-old Clifford James Gayton, who had moved in with the family in early December.

When she checked on the children at midnight, she found Da’Corian cool to the touch, face down on his bed, and not breathing. The mother called 9-1-1 and she and Gayton attempted to perform CPR, putting the baby in a warm bathtub, hoping to warm him.

But it was too late. Doctors at the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office who autopsied the child found multiple bruises covering a “large portion of his head, face, torso, pelvic area and legs. Several large hematomas, some multiple inches wide, were present.”

Da’Corian had been struck with such force that some of his internal organs were torn. The pathologists ruled the death a homicide by blunt force trauma. Gayton, the only adult investigators believe had access to Da’Corian when he was harmed, was arrested on a capital murder charge Jan. 30 at a relative’s home on Elizabeth Street in Texarkana. He was hiding under a bathroom cabinet when officers entered the house.

Bail is set at $2 million. Capital murder is punishable by life without parole or death by lethal injection. Gayton remains in custody.

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