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Father charged with first-degree murder in 5-year-old son's death

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Updated: 12/20/2013 1:12 pm
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Orange Countysheriff's investigators charged a father with first-degree murder in the death of his 5-year-old son, WFTV found out Friday.

Darell Avant Sr. was arrested after his son, Darell Avant Jr., was found dead in his Burroughs Court home Wednesday evening.

Avant agreed that his younger son be placed with the child's mother, who cried throughout the hearing as it was revealed that her 1-year-old may have witnessed some of what happened to the 5-year-old.

"It's our understanding that the father was caring for the 5-year-old and the 1-year-old at the time the incident occurred," said Department of Children and Families spokesperson Kristi Gra.

Deputies said Avant, 26, told them he spanked the boy and made him do pushups and squats for 20 minutes as punishment for being suspended from school for kicking a teacher.

According to the arrest report, Avant told deputies his son began to complain that he was hot and his feet hurt. Avant said he sent his son to take a shower.

The report said that when his son came out of the shower, the boy became dizzy and fell to the floor.

Avant told deputies the child was breathing and that he slapped his face to try and wake him. He said he then picked his son up and rocked him in an attempt to wake him.

According to the report, Avant then used a Google search for information on "rolling eyes in back of head." He then called a friend who arrived and began performing CPR. Avant then called 911.

In the arrest report, a deputy said he saw injuries on the boy's body "which were multiple bruises and contusions on the upper torso, abdomen, arms, and back."

Avant is being held in the Orange County Jail on an additional charge of child abuse. The arrest report said he is a repeat offender and has a history of domestic violence.
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