TAMPA — The 16-month-old boy who police said was abused by his father died from his injuries Saturday morning.
Ronderique Anderson was not expected to survive. Had his family kept him alive with a respiratory machine at St. Joseph's Hospital, he would have remained in a vegetative state, authorities said earlier this week.
Ronderique's father, 23-year-old Dwayne Poole, is now charged with first-degree murder, police said.
Poole has been held without bail since his Tuesday arrest on aggravated child abuse charges.
The child's family declined to comment Saturday, referring questions to an attorney, who could not be immediately reached.
Ronderique suffered a ruptured spleen, fractured forehead and bleeding brain after police say Poole spanked and whipped him as punishment for trying to stick a hanger into an electrical socket. Poole first told police that the boy had fallen down the stairs, but on Tuesday he admitted to beating him before throwing him on a bed, causing his head to strike a wall or dresser.
An agency under the Department of Children and Families had granted Poole custody of Ronderique in December after the child's 16-year-old mother, Fredreda Scott, who was in a group home, gave Poole the boy in July.
Though Scott said she later complained to the DCF that there were signs Poole was abusing Ronderique, it appears those concerns were ignored.
A DCF spokeswoman acknowledged Friday that there were mistakes made in the case, and the agency was trying to figure out exactly what went wrong.