Neighbor heard 'loud banging' from apartment where child was allegedly abused
Posted February 26, 2019 5:20 p.m. EST
Updated March 11, 2019 12:18 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — A Raleigh man changed in the death of a 1-year-old girl made his first appearance in court on Tuesday.
Ricky James Walker Jr., 31, of River Water Court, showed little emotion as he appeared before a judge.
Waker was originally charged with child abuse inflicting serious physical injury and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile for allowing the baby to be in the home. His charges were upgraded to murder after the baby died Monday, authorities said.
A neighbor, who did not want to give her name, said she heard "loud banging" coming from the apartment where the alleged abuse happened last week.
"It was constant, like for an hour," she said. "It was so bad and so hard that my picture in my living room on my mantel fell off.
It was only later that she learned the child living next door, 1-year-old Alliya, had been taken to the hospital with severe injuries, including bleeding near the brain, bruising on her arm and cuts and swelling on her forehead.
Walker initially told police that he didn't know how Alliya was hurt, but he later told investigators the toddler had fallen down some stairs, according to an application for warrant to search Walker's cellphone. Investigators wanted to check if Walker had called or texted anyone about the child's injuries and how long it took for him to seek medical attention, according to the warrant application.
According to police, Walker is the mother's boyfriend and was taking care of the child at the time.
The neighbor said the mother has been dating Walker for only a few months.
"I am just as shocked as anyone else. She is not a bad parent, not neglectful, kids are always clean. So, it's a shock to me," the woman said.
Walker was being held without bond.