NORMAN — The cause of death of 23-month-old Kiyla Rose Hosler was determined Wednesday by the State Medical Examiner’s Office to be homicide.
Chief Administrative Officer Amy Elliott said the cause was blunt force trauma to the head.
Jeremy Robert Howard, 25, is facing a first-degree murder charge.
He was determined to be Hosler’s sole caretaker. He was arrested and booked into Cleveland County Detention Center on April 12.
Investigators said the girl sustained a variety of injuries while under Howard’s care. It is believed that Howard is in a relationship with Hosler’s mother, Amanda Hosler. Court records show Howard and Amanda residing at the same address.
“What this man has done is wrong on so many levels,” Amanda Hosler said. “She was not abused nor in an abusive home at all. I want to help other families that have to face anything close to this.”
Amanda said her little girl was “amazing and could brighten anyone’s day.”
Officers responded to a report of an unresponsive child at 1917 Twisted Oak Drive, Apartment C, at 8:40 p.m. April 11. Hosler died after being transported to Norman Regional Hospital.
During an interview with police at the hospital, Howard admitted to throwing Hosler in the air, striking the back of her head with his steel-toed boot and throwing her face-down into the corner of a couch. He then went without checking her welfare for 30 minutes, stated the affidavit filed with the charge.
“After he found her in distress, he attempted to resuscitate her by pouring water in her mouth, attempted to call the child’s mother and then eventually called 911,” the affidavit reads.
Hosler was found to have numerous abrasions to the front of her head, water in her lungs and blood in her stomach.
She also was diagnosed with a possible skull fracture as well as having a month-old broken leg in a cast, the affidavit stated.
Howard was previously charged with domestic abuse assault and battery in January the same time his ex-wife filed a protective order against him. The charge was deferred after a guilty plea in February.
Hosler’s mother also filed a protective order against Howard after Kiyla’s death.
Howard may receive one of three punishments, life with parole, life without parole or death, District Attorney Greg Mashburn said. The sought form of punishment will be determined after more evidence is reviewed and after speaking with the family.
Mashburn said it is undetermined if any other parties will be charged with Kiyla’s death.
To those suspicious that a child is being abused, call the police or the DHS hotline at 1-800-522-3511.