Godmother, boyfriend arrested after death of baby found with golf ball-sized bruises, records say

Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Couple arrested after death of baby found with golf ball-sized bruises
A couple was arrested and charged after the woman's godchild, Lalani Smith, died and was found abandoned in a car with large bruises in NW Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Harris County Sheriff's Office has charged two people following the death of a 1-year-old girl.

Jonte Brown, 28, was charged with injury to a child, and Jazzlinn Victorian, 25, was charged with injury to a child by omission.

Prosecutors lay out the story in court documents.

They explain that Victorian told them she left the 1-year-old in a car with the air conditioner on, which occasionally works, and the window down. The documents alleged she was in the area asking for money.

Prosecutors don't say what happened next, but when police arrived on the scene, they say an officer noted that the child was injured.

The child has been identified by family members as Lalani Smith. The family said Brown and Victorian, who are a couple, were watching Lalani.

Lalani was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Documents show that a nurse recorded that Lalani had a 106-degree fever.

Lalani's aunt told Eyewitness News that Victorian was the child's godmother. The aunt told ABC13 she doesn't know what happened and doesn't know how something like this could happen.

According to court documents, the officers observed three golf ball-sized bruises on parts of Lalani's head and markings on her neck.

During court, prosecutors noted both Victorian and Brown told them they didn't know how Lalani was injured.

Documents show the prosecutors accuse Brown of being responsible for the injuries. They don't explain how Lalani was injured.

Brown's bail was set at $75,000, and Victorian's bail was set at $50,000.

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