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Personal care worker charged in death of 14-year-old girl with cerebral palsy

Posted at 1:30 PM, Feb 21, 2018

MILWAUKEE — Christopher R. Ward has been charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the death of 14-year-old Jada Wright. Police responded to the scene late last Wednesday night at their home on the city's northwest side. 

According to police, Jada has cerebral palsy, and Ward was her personal care worker. Initially, the 18-year-old defendant reported to police that Jada had complications with her feeding earlier that night. He said was not involved in her death, and claimed she had a history of injuring herself.

Jada's school physical therapist said she never saw Jada injure herself. She also said Jada was missing from school for a month.

Ward was taken into custody after an autopsy revealed blunt force trauma to her abdomen.

After further questioning, Ward admitted he had become frustrated with the girl while trying to feed her through her feeding tube. She had maneuvered her tube out of her stomach, frustrating him further. In response, he punched her in the stomach. 

Ward reconnected her tube and left the room. Upon returning, he saw she had vomited on herself, and did not seek additional care for her or tell first responders about his actions.