Parents charged in infant’s death

Nov. 28, 2012 @ 10:53 PM

The father of an infant who was found dead earlier this week admitted to detectives that he “snapped” and punched the child in the face after it fussed while he was playing video games, a state prosecutor said in court Wednesday.
Brian Jack Frazier, 20, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 2-week-old son, Kahn Frazier, whose lifeless body was found by High Point police officers responding to a call from a house on Kimery Drive about 3 p.m. Tuesday. Frazier’s girlfriend and the boy’s mother, 20-year-old Stefany Renee Ash, called 911 to report that the child was unresponsive.
Investigators determined that Kahn was the victim of a homicide and that the couple had tried to cover up what happened, prosecutors said. Ash was charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. During initial court appearances for the suspects, District Court Judge Polly Sizemore set Ash’s bond at $1 million and ordered Frazier held without bond.
Assistant District Attorney Leah Howell told Sizemore that Ash and Frazier live with Ash’s father, the baby and her other child, a 15-month-old boy, at 1206 Kimery Drive.
The couple was there with both children when officers and paramedics arrived. Ash’s father was at work. Police found Kahn, who was born Nov. 14, dead in a bassinet in the bedroom.
“The conditions of the home were horrible,” said Howell.
Detectives interviewed Ash and Frazier separately at the home and later questioned them at police headquarters. Prosecutors said Frazier admitted to his role in Kahn’s death.
“He said he was playing PlayStation until 5 a.m. (Tuesday). The baby was fussy,” said Howell. “(Frazier) said he snapped, grabbed the child by the neck, punched the baby in the face, killed the baby and then went back to bed.”
Ash initially told police she went to sleep at 5 a.m., woke up at 2 p.m. and found the baby unresponsive. She didn’t call for help until about 3 p.m., which aroused detectives’ suspicions. Howell said the truth was that the couple had been planning for hours how to cover up the homicide, possibly by hiding the body and claiming that the boy had been kidnapped. Ash also suggested that Frazier flee, Howell said.
Paramedics found bruising around the child’s neck that appeared to be consistent with fingerprint impressions and told detectives that rigor mortis in his body had started to subside, suggesting Kahn had been killed long before the couple claimed.
Ash’s stepfather, Bruce Alston, told the judge that his stepdaughter is afraid of Frazier, who she met online. He relocated from Louisiana and moved in with Ash and her family. He said her father was the only provider in the household and that the family struggled to make ends meet.
“Stephanie has never hurt any of her children. She loves them with all her heart,” said Alston. “We were only a phone call away. They know they can drop the baby off anytime. They have made many mistakes since he has been in the area.”
Alston nevertheless described Frazier as a loving father who was proud at the recent birth of his son.
“I know he loves to play PlayStation,” said Alston. “He’s not mature enough to have a family.”
pkimbrough@hpe.com 888-3531