Clay Co. man accused of killing girlfriend's toddler

Medical examiner found head injuries, ruled child's death a homicide

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – Eddie Duggan III, 27, was arrested Monday and charged with murder in the death of his girlfriend's 14-month-old son, Anterious Miller, earlier this year.

Clay County Sheriff's Office investigators said Duggan had lived with the victim's mother in Middleburg for eight months and watched her two children while she worked.  On April 28, Duggan called 911 and reported the toddler was not breathing.

Detectives said the child had bruising on his face and neck. Anterious was transported to Wolfson Children's Hospital, where he found to have no brain activity. He was declared dead the next day.

Dr. Bruce McIntosh, medical director of the First Coast Child Protective Team, reported the child suffered abusive head trauma that likely resulted from a combination of violent shaking and/or blunt force head trauma. The medical examiner ruled the boy's death a homicide.

A neighbor told News4Jax she had heard the boyfriend screaming at the child on several occasions. 

"It's just sickening," said the woman who did not want to be named.

The Department of Children and Families was called to the home 10 months before the child's death but never found any signs of abuse.

For many in the area, it was a crime too close to home. Back in April, a neighboring couple watched in disbelief as Duggan casually strolled out of his Middleburg mobile home as his girlfriends 14-month old was carted away in an ambulance.

"He didn't look upset or nothing. I just don't understand how anybody could do this to a child," said neighbor Mora Logan.

A neighbor who does not wish to be identified said she always suspected drug use at the home and regularly heard Duggan cursing at the children. While DCF said there were never any previous signs of abuse, neighbors felt that the right questions were not asked to the right people.

"Why wasn't any of the neighbors questioned? Why wasn't anything done? There were cars constantly in and out, in and out. Loud music playing. People yelling at the children, screaming at the children and things like that," Said a woman who did not want to be named. 

Duggan has been held on unrelated violation of probation charges in Bradford County. He was transported to Clay County on Monday and booked on a murder charge filed on Dec. 14. 

Duggan is held without bond and will make a first appearance before a Clay County judge Tuesday morning.

According to DCF Michelle Hersey's 4-year-old son is with family members and they are getting services to help during the transition.