Two siblings whose 6-month-old sister died from shaken baby syndrome told Department of Human Services investigators the baby’s father had been learning how to hold her. Willis Joey Lambert Jr., 37, and Latrice Sharron Russell, 34, are charged with first-degree murder in connection with the June 9 death of their daughter, Rachel Lambert, at an Oklahoma City hospital. Lambert confessed to fatally shaking his daughter at their Oklahoma City home because he couldn’t get the infant dressed after a bath, police said. Russell was charged with failing to protect the infant from a known child abuser. An autopsy report showed the baby died of a brain injury and had suffered five broken ribs earlier. The two siblings, ages 13 and 11, are Russell’s children. Lambert, the father of the 11-year-old boy, went to prison in 1999 for abusing him. The state Commission on Children and Youth’s Office of Juvenile System Oversight released the report last week. The surviving siblings told investigators Lambert was learning how to be appropriate with Rachel, according to the report. Lambert would sometimes get nervous when holding the baby and would get mad or frustrated because he did not know how to hold her correctly, the children told investigators. The children also said Russell would give them "whooping(s)” and Lambert would give "whooping(s)” to the 11-year-old, the report states. DHS is seeking to terminate Russell’s parental rights. A telephone call to DHS on the day the child died reported suspected alcohol abuse and marijuana use in the residence. A second call reported Lambert had been released from prison for "attempting to kill” his infant son and that Russell had allowed him back in the home after his release. Police reported in 1998 that Lambert confessed to placing a rag over his then 2-month-old son’s mouth because he was crying. The infant suffered injuries from lack of oxygen and had bruising around his eyes, a broken collarbone and a broken leg. Lambert’s parental rights were terminated and he served almost nine years of a 20-year sentence on the abuse charge. He also was on probation in the 1990s for drug offenses. Lambert and Russell waived their rights to a preliminary hearing Nov. 13. Russell is due back in court Jan. 6 for a pre-trial conference, and Lambert is to return Jan. 5 for a competency evaluation.
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