Meridian police told the city court Monday that a failed math lesson and soiled pants led to the beating death of a 3-year-old child over the weekend.
Meridian Police Detective Kevin Boyd told the court that Joshua A. Salovich, 25, of Davidson Road, Meridian, said, "It was all his fault," following the death of his 3-year-old daughter, Bailey Salovich.
On Friday afternoon, a local hospital notified law enforcement of Bailey's suspicious injuries and police interviewed both Salovich and Bailey's mother, Boyd said.
Bailey was flown to Jackson for treatment but she died by Saturday evening. Her cause of death has not been determined but the local hospital told police that the toddler suffered brain bleeding, a possibly detached retina and her lungs were filled with blood.
Bailey had a swollen, red abdomen, bruises and welts on her legs, lacerations on her buttocks, U-shaped marks on her legs and buttocks as well as a head wound, Boyd said.
Boyd said, according to Salovich, he was teaching Bailey her numbers.
"She apparently did not want to participate and get the correct numbers," Boyd said. "He said he would pop her with his hands on her butt and legs when she got a wrong answer... (he said he) backhanded her several times in the stomach because she kept getting it wrong."
According to testimony, Salovich told Boyd and Detective Thomas Abate that Bailey soiled herself and, after Salovich removed her clothing, she soiled herself again.
According to Salovich, he grabbed a lash – a rod of bamboo – and hit Bailey until the lash broke. Then he grabbed a heavy-duty phone charging cord, according to Boyd.
Boyd said the detectives asked Salovich how hard he had hit Bailey with the last and cord on a 1-to-10 scale.
"And he said, '10,' with no hesitation," Boyd said.
When he learned about Bailey's death, Boyd said Salovich "got upset. What he stated was, 'I killed my child. I killed my child.' "
According to Abate's reading of Salovich's statement, when they questioned Salovich about the discipline and learning numbers he said, "The streets are hard... for her to survive she has to be hard, too."
The court charged Salovich, of Davidson Road, with capital murder and denied bond.
Bailey's mother, who cried with family through most of the preliminary hearing, collapsed after the hearing and was taken to a local hospital by Metro Ambulance.
Police Chief Benny Dubose said after the hearing that this was the first time law enforcement had encountered Salovich or Bailey.
"I know that there are individuals who may lose their temper or become frustrated," Dubose said. "But that is no excuse, in my opinion, for this sort of action against a child."