Former teacher's sister saw no outward signs of injury on baby hours before tot's death, records say

Jessica Willey Image
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Dad arrested in death of baby told deputies 'God will take take of it'
Steven Luke Maglitto, 38, was arrested and charged with injury to a child, serious bodily injury, stemming from the death of his infant daughter on April 27.

KATY, Texas (KTRK) -- The father of a 3-month-old girl who died last month has been arrested.

Steven Luke Maglitto, 38, was arrested Monday afternoon. He is charged with injury to a child - serious bodily injury, stemming from the death of his infant daughter last month.

Her name has not been released. She is identified in court documents only by her initials, M.M. Her injuries were extensive, according to prosecutor Gilbert Sawtelle.

"The biggest injuries are going to be the brain bleeds, the subdural hemorrhages, and the skull fracture," Sawtelle said. "However, she had a lot of other injuries, including bruising on her forehead, legs, arms, all over her body."

Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the family home on Penmark Lane in Katy at about 4:30 p.m. on April 27.

According to court records, Maglitto met deputies in the driveway with the unconscious infant in his arms. He then laid her on the ground, began to apologize and declared, "God will take care of it," records stated.

Maglitto was the only adult taking care of the baby and her 4-year-old sibling while his wife was away. Tragically, Maglitto's sister, with her own concerns, had been there earlier, Sawtelle said.

"The defendant said his daughter wasn't feeling well. The sister, when she looked at the baby, didn't see any outward signs of injury. It didn't seem like the child was doing poorly, but she did have concerns about the defendant taking care of his own daughter to the point where she called the defendant's wife to let her know her concerns," Sawtelle explained. "That was at 12:30 (p.m). At 4:30 is when police were dispatched."

Court records also state that Maglitto told deputies he didn't know what happened to his daughter but that he had taken a hit of marijuana earlier. He told them he "heard God talking to him" and repeated the words, "Trust God, everything will be OK," records state.

He also said he had recently quit his teaching job after 10 years due to stress. His sister told deputies he said he was drafting a living will on his cell phone and that he became upset when she suggested he shouldn't be home alone with the children.

The couple also have a 7-year-old child. The surviving children are in foster care, Melissa Lanford, with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said.

The current charge is based on preliminary autopsy results. The final autopsy could lead to an upgraded charge, like felony murder, Sawtelle said.

Maglitto is expected to make his first court appearance Monday night, during which bond and bond conditions will likely be discussed.

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