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Coroner releases more details in child's death

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Posted: Aug 22, 2014 12:51 PM by Russell Jones
Updated: Aug 22, 2014 6:47 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: jay'v'une bergin, coroner, autopsy, vernell day

BATON ROUGE - Coroner Beau Clark released more information Friday from an autopsy of a 5-year-old who died from child abuse.

Clark said the preliminary cause of death for Jay'v'une Bergin was blunt force injuries to his head, which had multiple bruises on his face and neck as well as bleeding into his brain. Clark said Bergin was hit so hard his neck vertebrae were also dislocated and separated.

"These kinds of injuries can happen one of two ways," Clark said, "from either something slamming into the head or the head being slammed into something solid."

Bergin was taken to the hospital Tuesday morning after authorities said his father, 36-year-old Vernell Day, called 911 and told them the boy fell off a bed. Investigators later arrested him, and after Bergin died Thursday they upgraded charges against Day to murder.

Clark said Friday that Bergin's injuries showed he suffered multiple traumas to his head, which was inconsistent with Day's story. He said Bergin also had still-healing bruises and deep muscle bleeding on his chest and abdomen, as well as blunt force injuries to his arms and legs.

Day is being held on charges of first degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Bergin's grandmother blamed DCFS for his death, saying the system gave custody of him to Day even though they knew he was a felon.

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