Madison County

Father charged in Madison infant's death: 'I would not touch my baby'

William Dawes
William Dawes

RICHMOND — A Madison County man charged in the beating death of his 7-month-old daughter said Tuesday that neither he nor his wife harmed the girl.

"I would not touch my baby. My wife would not touch my baby. She was our world," William Leroy Dawes, 27, said during an interview at the Madison County jail.

Dawes is charged with murder in the Saturday death of Serenity Dawes. The girl's mother, Diana Dawes, 25, is charged with complicity to criminal abuse and complicity to murder. William and Diana Dawes are being held at the Madison County jail.

State police said Serenity Dawes was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital on Friday with multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, a broken leg, retinal hemorrhaging and bruising.

Trooper Chris Lanham, spokesman for the state police post in Richmond, said William Dawes "told three different stories." Lanham repeated the facts of a criminal citation filed in Madison District Court against Diana Dawes. The citation said she failed to protect Serenity from the abuse of William Leroy Dawes and failed to take the girl to a hospital after she knew the child had suffered injuries from her father's abuse.

The criminal citation also alleges that Diana Dawes "provided a lie to police to cover up the death of her daughter."

William Dawes said Serenity stopped breathing late Thursday, and he went to a neighbor's home to have them call 911. There was no phone at the Daweses' mobile home on Red Hill Road. The girl was taken to the hospital in Richmond and later to UK.

Dawes said Serenity had had trouble breathing since she had come back from a relative's care last week. He said he thought Serenity's wheezing was because she had caught a cold from him and his 3-year-old stepson, Connor, who has been taken into protective custody.

On a Facebook page, Dawes describes himself as "one crazy ass white boy with an attitude who loves to kick ass over family!!!!!!!! and if your one and i dont like you then your useless to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

In the interview, Dawes maintained he would never hurt the child.

"We never thought anybody would hurt our baby. She was the sweetest thing ever," Dawes said.

William Dawes remained in jail Tuesday in lieu of a $250,000 cash bond. Diana Dawes remained in jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond. Both are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Madison District Court.

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