EXCLUSIVE: Family of mother charged in baby's death in disbelief

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- 22-year-old Brandy Payne of Milwaukee is facing one count of first-degree reckless homicide in connection with the death of her seven-day-old infant that occurred June 13th. On Wednesday, June 19th, FOX6 News spoke exclusively Payne's family.

"Beautiful. Beautiful baby boy. So beautiful. I was so happy when I held him and he looked right at me. His eyes just opened up," the baby's aunt, Sherry Nwokohu said.

Payne made her initial appearance in court on Tuesday, June 18th -- where bail was set at $100,000. Payne faces first degree murder charges in the baby's death.

According to the criminal complaint, Panye told police she raised the baby over her head and then threw him to the kitchen floor following a telephone argument with the baby's father. After throwing the baby, Panye told police she observed bleeding from the child's head.

The complaint indicates Payne cleaned up the blood, put a cap on the baby's head to conceal the injury before taking the baby to his father's residence -- where she left him with members of the father's family. Emergency personnel was called to scene after it was discovered that the child was hurt.

When officials arrived on the scene they found a seven-day-old infant who was not breathing and did not have a pulse. Resuscitation efforts were started immediately.

While continuing lifesaving measures, the Fire Department transported the child to a medical vehicle. Once inside the vehicle, a firefighter re-positioned the baby's head and  noticed that it appeared to be very soft in the rear skull area. According to the complaint, the firefighter further stated that the entire head of the baby appeared soft and spongy, with swelling around the right temple area.

An autopsy of the seven-day-old baby showed trauma to the face and head, including bruising and abrasions to the face. The Medical Examiner also noted that the baby’s head appeared to be somewhat oblong and very spongy to the touch.

Upon conducting the internal examination, the Medical Examiner determined that the baby died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and determined the manner of death to be a homicide.

Michael Johnson -- the baby's father, says the traumatic injuries his seven-day-old son suffered are unexplainable.

""How do you explain the injuries? The only thing I could think was this was an accident. I know she won't harm a fly -- I promise you. I'm deeply devastated," Johnson said.

Payne told officials she was arguing with Johnson shortly before the baby died -- saying Johnson had told her the baby was not his.

"No, never," Johnson said. "We've established that I was the father. She knows and I know."

A Medical Examiner's report says the baby's mother is said to be significantly cognitively disabled or intellectually disabled. However, her family says Payne was ready to be a mother -- showing smiling pictures of Payne while pregnant.

"She was excited. She was very excited to have the baby. Everything that is going on right now, I just can't believe it. She watched my kids so many times -- I don't believe this," the baby's aunt, Sherry Nwokohu said.

Payne's family says she suffers from a mental health disorder, but is not psychologically disturbed.

Payne's family says they want to know why the baby's father disputed many of the facts in the criminal complaint when interviewed Tuesday by FOX6 News.

Her family says they will wait to judge until they hear from Payne.

Payne is due in court for her preliminary hearing on June 27th.

If convicted, Payne could face up to 60 years in prison.