LA foster mother, boyfriend charged in hammer death of 2-year-old girl

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

Police said Monday that 30-year-old Kiana Barker 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.