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Man charged with death of toddler
Girl died from head injuries
Billy D. Nicely

A Gainesville man who said his girlfriend’s 1-year-old daughter was hurt in a fall has been charged with murder.

Billy D. Nicely, 25, is accused of causing fatal head injuries to 13-month-old Tayore Wright by striking her with an unknown object while the two were alone in an apartment at the Pines on Lanier on Pine Cove Circle, according to an indictment returned by a Hall County grand jury Wednesday.

Nicely was arrested by Gainesville Police on Tuesday, two weeks after Wright died at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

Gainesville Police Lt. Brian Kelly said Nicely was looking after the girl on March 30 while her mother was at work. Shortly before 9 p.m. that night, family members called 911 to report that the child was unresponsive.

Nicely was gone before police arrived, Kelly said. Family members said Nicely told them that he was carrying the girl down a flight of stairs to change her diaper when she jerked backward, fell from his arms and down the stairs.

Wright died from cranial cerebral trauma the next day, the same day investigators located Nicely.

An autopsy determined that the girl’s head injuries were not consistent with a fall, Kelly said.

An indictment accuses of Nicely of assaulting Wright with "an object, instrument and device, the exact type which is unknown to the grand jury, which ... did result in serious bodily injury."

Nicely is charged with felony murder, aggravated assault and first-degree cruelty to a child. He remains in the Hall County jail without bond.

Nicely will be represented by the Northeastern Circuit Public Defender’s Office. An attorney with that office had not spoken with him as of Wednesday afternoon. The case has been assigned to Hall County Superior Court Judge Jason Deal.

It is the first death classified by authorities as a homicide in Hall County this year.