Judge finds evidence of abuse in Yukon baby’s death

Father jailed without bond on murder charge after infant died at home

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Anil Azmat

By Conrad Dudderar

Senior Staff Writer

A man has been ordered to remain jailed without bond after a Canadian County judge found “clear and convincing evidence” he murdered a two-month-old baby at a Yukon-area home, court records show.

Yukon’s Anil Azmat, 33, has been charged with first-degree murder by child abuse in Canadian County District Court.

A preliminary hearing for Azmat is set 9 a.m. Dec. 16 before Judge Khristan K. Strubhar. The defendant, represented by attorney Craig Corgan, is being held without bond at the Canadian County Jail in El Reno.

“Based on the testimony, this Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that proof of guilt is evident, and the presumption thereof is great,” Judge Strubhar wrote in a court order filed Nov. 2. “The Court further finds that no condition or conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person and the community, specifically young children.

“In addition, the Court finds that no conditions of release can reasonably assure Defendant will appear at his next court appearance.”

The judge noted Azmat “was somewhat difficult to locate and arrest” and not “fully upfront with law enforcement,” according to the document.

The defendant was arrested in September and the crimes were reported in March.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Azmat faces a sentence of death, life in prison or life in prison without parole.

In her order, Judge Strubhar referred to testimony of Oklahoma City Police Det. James W. Brown who investigated the baby’s death:

“He spoke with the Medical Examiner who advised the child’s skull was in small pieces and the lining of her skull was what kept the skull together. Further, the skull fracture was one of the worst he had ever witnessed. The child’s cause of death was blunt force trauma, like she was being held by her ankles and swung as a bat.

“The doctor rejected Defendant’s statements regarding how the children’s injuries occurred. The child had bruising under her chin and on her face and she had old rib fractures.”

Azmat, the infant’s father, was allegedly alone with the child when she was injured.

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BABY WAS NOT BREATHING

Oklahoma City Police investigated alleged crimes committed at a home in the 200 block of N Stebbins Drive near Cemetery Road and Reno.

Police responded at 9:16 a.m. March 21 on a report that the baby was not breathing. The victim was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Azmat told officers he was “trying to get up from the bed to go to the bathroom” and put the baby in her crib next to the bed,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit signed by Det. Brown.

“He said he stood up and tripped on something and fell on (the baby). Anil said when he stood up, she was not breathing.”

A child abuse specialist at OU Children’s Hospital found evidence the infant had a skull fracture and was a victim of child abuse, according to Det. Brown’s affidavit.

In an interview the next day, Azmat denied purposefully hurting his baby daughter or hitting her in the head.

Later that day, the Oklahoma Medical Examiner told the detective he performed an exam on the victim and found her to have a skull fracture, subdural hematoma, visible scalp bruising, neck abrasions, and old rib fractures. His report labeled manner of death as “homicide” and cause of death “blunt force trauma of head and neck.”

After interviewing the defendant, witnesses and the infant victim’s family members, Det. Brown asked a Canadian County judge to issue a warrant for Azmat’s arrest on the first-degree murder by child abuse charge.