Mom charged with killing girl, 4

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Date: 1997-11-16

Mom charged with killing girl, 4
November 16, 1997
SUSAN DODGE 
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

The adoptive mother of a 4-year-old North Side girl faces murder charges after she allegedly beat her daughter to death and then told police she accidentally dropped the girl in the bathtub.

Mary Perkins' daughter, Angel Martin, was brought to Cook County Hospital early Thursday with massive head injuries, missing teeth, bruises and apparent bite marks on her head and body, a Cook County medical examiner's official said Saturday.

There were also signs Angel had been sexually abused, said a spokeswoman for Cook County State's Attorney Richard Devine.

Perkins, 30, of the 1300 block of North Hudson, was charged with first-degree murder Friday night and ordered held without bond Saturday by Cook County Associate Judge Gary Brownfield.

Perkins, who is eight months pregnant, told police she was holding Angel, "tripped, and dropped her in the bathtub," Devine spokeswoman Patti Simone said.

Angel died of severe head injuries, a medical examiner's office spokesman said.

A radiologist will examine evidence of possible older fractures of Angel's rib cage, the spokesman said.

Perkins allegedly "beat Angel about her head and body with her hands and a belt," Simone said.

The girl tried to get away from Perkins by hiding under a bed, but that made Perkins more angry, and she allegedly dragged the girl out and continued to beat her, Simone said.

Perkins waited a couple of hours before taking her daughter to Cook County Hospital, accompanied by her boyfriend, Simone said. The boyfriend is not considered a suspect in the case, police said.

Angel was born with cocaine in her system Oct. 3, 1993, and was taken into custody by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services shortly afterward.

She was placed in Perkins' care as a foster child in June, 1994, said Maudlyne Ihejirika, a DCFS spokeswoman. The agency had no prior history of problems with Perkins, who adopted Angel in July, she said.

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