A man has been arrested in the death under suspicious circumstances last month of a 2-year-old boy, who was in his care at a Wasilla home.
Court records show Jyzyk John Sharpe, 40, has been charged with second-degree murder by extreme indifference and manslaughter in the March 21 death of Ezekiel Dockery.
According to a criminal complaint from investigator Daniel Bennett, Wasilla Police Department officers responded to an East Quincy Circle home just after 1 p.m. on March 21, where police had been told CPR was in progress on Dockery. He was taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 2 p.m.; Sharpe was taken to the hospital to be present with Dockery's family.
"At the hospital, I observed Jyzyk Sharpe stuttering and displaying involuntary body movements, and (he) was unable to articulate his thoughts," Bennett wrote. "Sharpe's aunt and uncle who knew (him) very well reported they have not seen this behavior from (him) in the past."
Bennett spoke with Sharpe shortly after he had finished performing CPR on Dockery. Sharpe said Dockery slipped and fell at the home while stepping into a tub to take a shower with his 4-year-old twin sisters already in the tub, as Sharpe was getting undressed to join them. Nobody else was home at the time, Sharpe said.
"Sharpe was talking about (Dockery) and stated, 'I saw him step over, and I could hear a fall, (a-a) slippery fall, I walk over and look and it was a split second, you just knew instantly, instantly, instantly,'" Bennett wrote.
After Dockery fell, Sharpe said he brought him to the bed in the adjoining master bedroom. He then called Dockery's mother, Tennille Downey, as well as 911.
Bennett also spoke with three paramedics who responded to the scene. Both said that Sharpe claimed to have broken Dockery's ribs while performing CPR on him with one saying Dockery had no pulse when he was first checked.
Tennille Downey told Bennett that she had been headed home from work in Anchorage at about 12:30 p.m. on March 21 when Sharpe called to say he was giving the children a shower. She received another call from him just before 1 p.m. reporting Dockery's injuries, with 911 logs showing he called dispatchers at 1:01 p.m.
"I asked (Downey) if she had any suspicion that (Sharpe) hurt her child at all," Bennett wrote. "(Downey) stated that she did not have any suspicion that (Sharpe) would hurt her children because he takes care of the kids as if they were his own."
As the case developed, police began to sweep the home for evidence.
"In the residence was apparent blood smear that was located behind the entry door, on the wall of the master bedroom," Bennett wrote. "The blood smear was consistent with the apparent height of Ezekiel Dockery. A presumptive blood test was conducted on the smear, which tested positive."
Police found a glass plate with white powder and two straws in the master bathroom, "consistent with illegal drug use." The substance was sent to the state crime lab for testing.
When officers spoke with Downey, she said the powder was cocaine -- but that it was hers and not Sharpe's. Asked about the blood behind the bedroom door, she said one of the girls had pushed Dockery down, splitting his lip which Downey treated by placing cold peas on it. She said that she'd seen the blood on March 20, and believed that Sharpe must have put Dockery in the corner for a time-out, with blood from his lip marking the wall.
An autopsy by Dr. Ken Gallagher found that Dockery had suffered bruises around his head and back and lacerations to his lips, as well as a fractured rib and a tear of his aorta arch -- the latter an injury that would have forced Dockery unconscious and soon killed him.
"Dr. Gallagher reported that the fractured rib and the tear of the aorta arch were consistent with major blunt force trauma," Bennett wrote. "(He) compared the injuries that he observed consistent with a victim in a car accident. (He) stated that the injuries were inconsistent with a fall in the bathtub, and the injuries were not incurred by CPR efforts."
The prosecutor in the case, Trina Sears, says there's no indication of Dockery having been injured in a car crash. While she won't say whether prosecutors believe Sharpe beat Dockery, she points to inconsistencies in his testimony as a factor in the manslaughter charge.
"This child died of blunt-force trauma not consistent with the history of care provided by the caretaker," Sears said. "It's a homicide case with injuries, major injuries that were not explained by the testimony that has been provided."
Sears declined to say whether prosecutors have received toxicology results on Sharpe, citing prosecutorial conduct oaths which prevent her from discussing such matters.
"I can't really answer that right now," Sears said.
When Sharpe was asked about Dockery's injuries, Bennett didn't get many answers.
"Sharpe could not explain any other falls or ways Ezekiel Dockery could have suffered his injuries," Bennett wrote. "Since the interview was ended, Jyzyk Sharpe has not returned any calls or made any efforts for a follow-up interview."
Jail records show Sharpe is being held without bail at the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility.