Phoenix mom accused of child abuse in baby’s death now faces first-degree murder charge

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Phoenix, AZ (KTVK) — A Phoenix mom is now facing a charging of first-degree murder in the death of her baby boy over the summer.

Police first arrested Donielle Joyce King, 32, on suspicion of child abuse after her 1-year-old son was found dead in her apartment on Tuesday, July 17.

According to court paperwork, King “admitted she left her son home when she left for work” at around 6:30 a.m.

King told police she dropped off her four other kids at daycare, but that her 1-year-old son “had open sores so he was not eligible for daycare.”

According to court paperwork, King told police “her friend was going to babysit but apparently did not show up.”

When King arrived home at 4:15 p.m., almost 10 hours later, she told police “she found her son unresponsive on a mattress inside the childrens’ bedroom.”

“Through the course of their investigation, detectives were able to develop probable cause that Donielle Joyce King was responsible for the death of her infant son Josiah Gishie,” Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department said in an email to media outlets Tuesday afternoon.

He did not elaborate, saying only that “detective upgraded her charges to include 1st Degree Murder (sic).”

Arizona’s Family is working to get King’s court documents, which might explain how detectives arrived that their conclusion.

This isn’t the first time King has been accused of child abuse. She was arrested in 2016 on child abuse charges.

When King made her first court appearance on the July child abuse charge, the judge set her bond at $50,000.

Thompson said Tuesday that she is still being held t the Maricopa County Jail.