HENDERSON, Texas – A young East Texas couple was arraigned Wednesday on capital murder charges accusing them of beating the woman's 1-year-old daughter to get rid of "the demons."
Authorities said that the child was also bitten more than 20 times.
Blaine Milam, 19, and Jessica Carson, 18, remained jailed Wednesday in lieu of a $2 million bond for each.
They were arrested Tuesday after Rusk County Sheriff's deputies responding to a 911 call found 13-month-old Amora Bain Carson beaten. Investigators think the couple used a hammer to "beat the demons out" of Amora, Carson's daughter.
Lt. Reynold Humber said that the couple told detectives various stories on how the child was injured, including that the toddler was in an auto accident and attacked by the family's dogs. They even said that the child beat herself in the head with a hammer.
"They had multiple stories they went through before they told us they had beaten the child to death," he told The Tyler Morning Telegraph for its Wednesday editions.
Humber said the couple eventually told deputies the child was possessed and they were trying to rid her of demons.
An arrest affidavit says that after the child was dead, the couple "drove to Henderson to pawn some items to pay for an exorcism."
A message could not be left at a telephone number listed for the couple's home. They did not have an attorney, according to Justice of the Peace Bob Richardson's office.
Officials said Milam and Carson told detectives they decided to hire a priest after the exorcism went badly. Humber said there was no information on any clergy being called to the home.
While waiting to be arraigned, Carson crossed her arms and sobbed silently. Milam looked around the courtroom and occasionally glanced at his hand, where he had a visible bite mark.
Milam was sentenced in August on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child and received a probated sentence. Investigator William Brown with the Rusk County District Attorney's Office said that case did not involve Amora.
Milam has also been arrested on charges of causing a disturbance and assault/family violence.
Humber said Carson graduated as an honor student last year and had not been in any trouble with police.
The child's body has been sent to Dallas for an autopsy.