Father charged with murder in 2020 death of 6-week-old son, documents show

Xavier Darren Whitaker, 20, is accused of murdering his newborn son, Xavier Whitaker Jr. (KPRC)

PASADENA, Texas – Nearly two years after a 6-week-old boy died, his father is being held responsible for his death, according to court documents.

Xavier Darren Whitaker, 20, is accused of murdering his newborn son, Xavier Whitaker Jr.

According to court documents, on Nov. 11, 2020, an ambulance was called to a Pasadena apartment complex after receiving reports about an unresponsive infant.

When paramedics arrived, the newborn was rushed to HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast Hospital, then airlifted to Texas Children’s Hospital.

In the initial report, the father told Pasadena police that he was feeding his baby when he noticed that the newborn appeared to not want to eat. The dad said he burped his son and then went to place him in the bathtub, and that is when the baby became unresponsive.

Xavier Jr. remained in critical condition for more than a week, before dying on Nov. 20. An autopsy was conducted two days later.

Court documents do not give an explanation for the lengthy gap between the death of the child and the follow-up questioning of the parents.

Documents show the mother was questioned on June 16, 2021. According to the affidavit, she told investigators she and Whitaker lived together and would take shifts caring for their son. She said that Whitaker mostly cared for the baby during the daytime hours, and she was asleep when the child allegedly sustained the fatal injuries.

On July 7, 2021, investigators learned Whitaker was in custody at the Pasadena City Jail. Investigators then set up an interview, which was held at the Pasadena Police Department.

The father told his version of what occurred, which did not match up with the findings of the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, investigators said.

According to the autopsy, the infant was found to have sustained multiple blunt force injuries and his death was ruled a homicide.

The findings were outlined in specific, detailed wording.

According to the Medical Examiner’s report, the newborn sustained head trauma, cerebral edema, anoxic brain injury, subdural hemorrhage, left and right parietal skull fracture, multiple rib fractures, right femoral fracture, right superior pubic ramus fracture and S4 vertebral fracture. The baby also had an untreated laceration to his face from a previous injury.

The examination concluded that the injuries were consistent with kicking, stomping and/or being thrown. The injuries, however, were not necessarily consistent with being shaken and were more consistent with an impact or crush, or being struck with a blunt object with crushing force, the report states.

The findings determined that the injuries would have led to an immediate loss of consciousness - not something that would have happened over time. Therefore, investigators pinpointed the father, who was caring for the boy when he became unresponsive, as the person who caused the injuries, documents state.

Whitaker was charged with murder on Monday, August 8, 2020.

Department of Public Safety records show Whitaker has arrests dating back to 2015, with charges including evading arrest and detention.