Doctor, husband charged after daughter, 4, dies - WKRN News 2

Doctor, husband charged after daughter, 4, dies

Posted: Updated: July 12, 2010 09:17 PM CDT
Deborah Mark Deborah Mark
Steven Mark Steven Mark

MT. JULIET, Tenn. – Police in Mt. Juliet charged a pediatrician and her husband on Monday in connection to the death of their four-year-old adopted daughter.

The girl's mother, Dr. Deborah Mark, 39, is charged with first degree murder, four counts of child abuse and one count each of aggravated child abuse and perpetration of aggravated child abuse.

Police believe she gave the fatal blow that resulted in the child's death.

The child's father, 47-year-old Steven Mark, is charged with one count each of aggravated child abuse and neglect, criminal responsibility for aggravated child abuse, accessory after the fact and failure to protect in addition to four counts of child abuse.

The couple's daughter, Kairissa Mark, was rushed to Summit Medical Center on July 1 after officers responded to the family's home on Laurel Hills Drive in Mt. Juliet amid reports of an unresponsive girl.

The child's injuries were so severe she was later transferred to Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, where she died the following morning.

"To my knowledge, Mt. Juliet has never had a child abuse case that resulted in the death of a child," Mt. Juliet Police Chief Andy Garrett said.

"There was substantial bruising on the child from head to toe," said Bonnie Harris, the lead detective on the case.

Deborah Mark is a doctor at Centennial Pediatrics in Lebanon.  Steven Mark is a stay-at-home dad.

According to police, the child was adopted by the Mark family and brought to the U.S. in April.

Authorities told News 2 they believe the abuse began shortly after she arrived.

The Marks also have an eight-year-old biological child who is now in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services. 

Police do not believe that child suffered any physical abuse. 

Deborah Mark and Steven Mark are being held in the Wilson County jail on $150,000 bond and $100,000 bond, respectively.

A court date has been scheduled for July 23.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

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