TEXARKANA, Ark. -- Bail has been set at $500,000 for a Texarkana man accused in the recent death of a 2-month-old boy.
If Jeffrey Allen McPherson, 38, manages to post bond, he must wear a GPS-equipped ankle monitor, according to Miller County officials.
Carter Hamilton died of blunt-force injuries to his chest and had several broken ribs, according to autopsy findings cited in a probable cause affidavit.
McPherson was acting as the child's guardian because the boy's mother was being held in the Bowie County, Texas, jail. The affidavit notes that McPherson identified himself as the mother's fiance but not the child's father.
McPherson claimed he was at his residence in the 200 block of Senator Street in Texarkana, Arkansas, early on the morning of May 25 when he put the baby down after doing "bicycle" exercises meant to help relieve gas. McPherson allegedly rushed the child to the hospital after finding him limp about 20 to 30 minutes later.
While interviewing McPherson at the house, investigators noted that a child's bed and a baby bed were cluttered with toys, clothing and other items and did not appear to have been recently used for sleeping. The investigators also observed a security camera mounted to the ceiling in the living room.
Video footage recorded prior to the police visit had allegedly been erased and could not be recovered.
McPherson has been charged with tampering with physical evidence in addition to first-degree murder in Miller County. If convicted of murder, McPherson faces 10 to 40 years or life in prison. If convicted of evidence tampering, he faces up to six years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
McPherson is scheduled to appear July 15 before a circuit judge in Miller County.