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New details in capital murder child abuse case

Authorities arrested and charged 38-year-old Joseph David Heard and 21-year-old Hailey Leann...
Authorities arrested and charged 38-year-old Joseph David Heard and 21-year-old Hailey Leann Heard with capital murder.(Harrison County Jail)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 8:59 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Horrific new details were revealed in court Wednesday in a capital murder child abuse case.

Joseph Heard, the step-father of a two-year-old boy who died two days after Christmas was in court for a preliminary hearing. The medical examiner testified Hayden Bataille died of suffocation from being smothered, and injuries to the child’s mouth and throat came from him fighting to breathe.

An investigator testified the child’s mother Hailey Heard told them her husband held the boy by his arms in one hand, while repeatedly punching and hitting her son.

Hailey Heard also admitted to covering the boy’s mouth to muffle his cries according to the statement she gave police which was detailed in the hearing.

Testimony from police revealed the child had extensive bruising on the sides of his face, chin, chest, arms and legs. Evidence police gathered includes video taken of Hayden in the days and weeks before his death which police say show severe bruising all over the boy’s body.

Joseph and Hailey Heard are each charged with capital murder. She waived her preliminary hearing which means the case next goes to the grand jury.

After Wednesday’s preliminary hearing for Joseph Heard, his case was bound over to the grand jury. Both are being held without bond.

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