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Charges: Father punched 4-month-old daughter 22 times, killing her

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A young father who authorities say admitted to punching his 4-month-old daughter in the face and chest 22 times so she would stop making "baby talk" has been charged with second-degree murder.

Cory Morris, 21, of Minneapolis, was watching his daughter Emersyn on Sunday while his girlfriend (and also the baby's mother) was at work, charges say. He called police just before 5 p.m., admitting he killed her.

Family members have suggested that Morris suffers from mental health issues, KSTP reported. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in an email news release Tuesday "these will need to be evaluated during the course of this case."

Morris is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon. If convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint (details of which might be disturbing to some people):

Morris told police he was watching TV when Emersyn started making noises, which he described as "baby talk."

He then brought her into her bedroom and put her on the changing table. When she continued to make noise, he hit her to make her be quiet. Morris said he punched her 15 times in the face, seven times in the chest, and squeezed her chest with both hands.

When first responders showed up at the home, they found the baby on a changing station in a pool of blood. When police arrived, the baby was unconscious, her skin was discolored and covered in blood. There was also blood splatter "all over the wall and floor" near the changing station.

Morris also had dried blood on his clothes, hands and arms, and his right hand was swollen.

Emersyn was pronounced dead at the hospital; her cause of death was blunt force trauma. She had severe bruising and swelling on her face and chest.

Morris' girlfriend told police he watches the baby three to four times a week while she's at work. She said Morris can go from happy to mad easily, and he has gotten mad at her in the past and grabbed her or thrown things.

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