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Father Charged With Infant Daughter's Death

On Sunday, four-month-old Janiya Cochran-Blair died of severe brain trauma at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Janiya Cochran-Blair

Joseph Blair, the infant's father, told Westerville Police detectives that it was an accident. Blair said that on April 5, he tripped and accidentally dropped Janiya, the infant's head striking the couch.


Detectives and the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office didn't buy Blair's story and today a grand jury indicted the 22-year-old man with murder. Blair is the son of Westerville City Councilman Dennis Blair.


When police arrested Blair on April 6, they charged him with one count of endangering children. Blair remains at the Franklin County Jail on a $2-million dollar bond on that charge.

Joseph Blair

Westerville detectives determined that Blair waited "two hours" before bringing the "unresponsive" toddler to Mt. Carmel St. Ann's Hospital. According to the police report, doctors transferred Janiya to Nationwide Children's Hospital, where she was placed on life support until she passed away.


Blair initially told police that he waited 40 minutes, not two hours, before talking Janiya to the hospital. Police say Blair has also changed his "story multiple times" about how Janiya suffered a fatal head injury.


Officers also found "suspected marijuana" at Joseph Blair's residence on the day of the incident.


Lanea Cochran, Janiya's mother, posted pictures of Janiya's lifeless body hooked up to life support machines on her Facebook page.

Janiya Cochran-Blair

Cochran also posted the following. "Let's be honest…Joseph Blair neglected my child and lied about it. That's why he is in jail, and I'm watching my whole heart on a ventilator passing away. I'M SICK OF THE LIES."



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