Man indicted on capital murder charge in death of wife's baby

The four-week-old baby was not his child, deputies say

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Brian Christopher Keith

LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas - A grand jury has indicted a Hardin man on a capital murder charge in the death of his wife's baby, who was not his child.

On July 2, 2013, the Liberty County Sheriff's Office says four-week-old Nevaeh Keith was found non-responsive in her bed at her home on CR 2061. She was later pronounced deceased.

Deputies say their investigation showed that Brian Christopher Keith had been released from prison nine days earlier and was on parole for an arson conviction when his wife, Shanna Keith, gave birth to little Nevaeh. According to deputies, it is alleged that Brian Keith fostered a great deal of resentment towards the baby because it was not his child.

According to the Liberty County Sheriff's Office, Keith admitted to investigators that he had gotten up at 4 on the morning of July 2 to go to work and Nevaeh was crying. Deputies say Keith admitted to "patting the child on the head and maybe striking the baby," then left for work while his wife was still asleep.

At around 11 a.m. that day, CPS workers came to the home to take Shanna Keith to a treatment facility when the baby was found to be non-responsive.Within a few days of the baby's death, deputies say Keith, 29, was arrested for an alleged road rage incident and placed in jail on an assault charge. He was later released on probation for that offense, then re-arrested on a probation violation.

The autopsy results indicated the baby died by "compression death" which is deputies say is, in effect, death due to a blunt trauma to the body.

The grand jury indictment was served Friday morning on Keith, who was already in the Liberty County Jail on other charges. No bond has been set at this time in the case.

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