Rocky Mount mom and boyfriend in court after baby dies

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WITN) – A mother and her boyfriend were in a Nash County courtroom this morning after a one-year-old died in what police say was a homicide.

Sierra Eley broke down while being questioned, telling the judge this was her first ever criminal charge. The 27-year-old woman is charged with felony child abuse.

Police were called to the home at 619 Paul Street around 9:00 a.m. Sunday for an unresponsive baby in the bathtub.

Romie Tyler III was later pronounced dead at UNC Nash Healthcare. Rocky Mount police say the child had substantial bodily injuries.

Marcus Richardson is charged with first-degree murder in the case. The judge told him he could face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted of the death.

Warrants say Richardson was supervising the baby when he became unresponsive. Investigators say the one-year-old was found with lacerations and bruising on his body.

Richardson is being held without bond, while Eley was given a $250,000 secured bond.

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