Jury finds former Tulsa football player guilty in child abuse murder trial

By: Ashli Lincoln


Story Highlights

  • Tavarreon Dickerson is accused of child abuse murder in the death of his six-week-old daughter in 2016.
  • Dickerson is a former University of Tulsa football player.
  • Defense attorneys say there is no evidence that Dickerson intentionally hurt the child.
  • The jury reached a guilty verdict on Friday.

TULSA, Okla. - The jury reached a guilty verdict in the trial against a former University of Tulsa football player.

Tavarreon Dickerson was charged in 2016, accused of murdering his six-week-old daughter.

The state said Dickerson intentionally harmed his newborn, while the defense said there is no evidence showing Dickerson meant to hurt the child.

Dickerson is accused of child abuse murder in connection to the child's January 2016 death. 

He was arrested in May of that year.

While prosecutors claimed that the massive brain bleed and contusions are the result of abuse, defense attorneys said that the child was born premature and that the premature birth caused the brain bleed.

Wednesday, the medical examiner took the stand and said no evidence showed that the baby could have died from a preexisting condition. She said she found bruises on the child's body, but she said the baby did not have any skull fractures or other indications of someone striking or dropping the child.

Defense attorneys say Dickerson's wife remained married to him after the incident and doesn't believe that he intentionally killed their daughter.

After 8 hours of deliberation, the jury's guilty verdict came with a recommended sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. Dickerson would have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible.

Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. December 19.

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