NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — A man accused of throwing his 3-month-old daughter off a New Jersey bridge testified at his murder trial Thursday that the child was already dead when he tossed her into the Raritan River.
The Star-Ledger of Newark reports that http://bit.ly/SWWJ2y Shamsid-Din Abdur-Raheem told jurors Thursday that his infant daughter fell to the floor and hit her head during a tussle he had with the baby's maternal grandmother at the woman's East Orange home on Feb. 16, 2010.
Abdur-Raheem admitted taking the child from the grandmother and fleeing with her in his car down the Garden State Parkway.
Abdur-Raheem says he became upset when he noticed the child wasn't breathing and appeared dead.
He told jurors he was not sure why he then tossed his daughter off the Driscoll Bridge.
"I placed her in a (blue) knapsack, rolled down the (passenger side) window, and pushed her out," he said. "I tossed my daughter off the bridge. I don't know why."
When Deputy Attorney General Andrew Fried asked him to demonstrate using a book, Abdur-Raheem refused at first, then took the book and held it for a few seconds before throwing it onto the floor. He then started to cry.
Abdur-Raheem faces murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault counts. His trial is in its second week.
Earlier in the week, a state forensic anthropologist testified the skull fractures found on the baby were made at or about the time of death but they were caused by a significant fall and not one of four feet or less.
Abdur-Raheem testified Thursday that he and the baby's grandmother struggled and that the baby fell and hit the back of her head.
Information from: The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger, http://www.nj.com/starledger
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.