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Foster mom, boyfriend charged in tot's hammer death

/ Source: The Associated Press

A foster mother has been charged with murder and her boyfriend with being an accessory in the killing of a 2-year-old girl who was struck with a hammer.

Police said Monday that Kiana Barker, 30, was arrested last week on murder and child abuse charges.

Barker initially told investigators that she accidentally struck Viola Vanclief with a hammer while trying to free her after the girl became trapped in a bed frame. But authorities say records show the child had several bruises. The girl died March 4.

Barker is being held on $1.1 million bail.

Her boyfriend — 38-year-old James Julian — surrendered Saturday after a warrant was issued on charges of dissuading a witness and accessory to murder. He is being held on $1.6 million bail.

It was unknown if either had an attorney.