Rhasean Lowry insisted in two separate interviews with police that three-year-old Tatiana Emerson got her severe injuries from a fall down some steps at the Econo Lodge on Bonny Oaks Drive.
The child died three days later and Lowry is currently on trial for murder in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole.
Prosecutors Lance Pope and Cameron Williams say Lowry beat the child to death, while defense attorney Dan Ripper said he will call an expert witness who will say her injuries were consistent with a fall.
Lowry was interviewed at Erlanger Hospital and again at the Police Services Center on Amnicola Highway the day he carried her nearly-lifeless body into an emergency room. That was Aug. 26, 2014.
Lowry was arrested after the second interview and has been behind bars since then.
Undergoing a sometimes intense interrogation, Lowry maintained, "I never put my hands on any of those children." The day of the incident he had taken the child's mother, Melanie Emerson, to her job at Hardees. He was left in charge of Tatiana, her five-year-old brother and an eight-month-old that Lowry and Ms. Emerson have together. He took the five-year-old to school at Bess T. Shepherd.
Detective Matthew Puglise told him, "You know you f----- up. That girl did not fall down those steps."
He also told Lowry that there was a camera aimed at the stairs, proving there was no fall. However, according to testimony at the trial, there are seven cameras at the Econo Lodge, but none capture the stairs.
With Detective Puglise out of the room, a milder-mannered detective told Lowry that if the girl had fallen "she would have had scrapes all over her." He said it appeared "somebody had been banging on her head over and over."
Lowry said during the interview, "Those kids love me and I love them back. They are with me most of the time."
With both detectives out of the room, Lowry offered up a prayer, saying, "I love all my kids and I treat them all the same. I never hurt any of them."
He also has two boys, he said.
The jury was shown video of Lowry's comings and goings on the morning of Aug. 26, 2014.
He is seen leaving to take the girlfriend to work and then later the older boy to school. Apparently, Tatiana was left alone in the motel room.
He is not seen getting any milk and coffee from the breakfast area. He told detectives he had done so and that Tatiana spilled the milk when she tripped backwards. He said she was wearing some ill-fitting flip flops at the time. Detectives said they found no trace of spilled milk on the stairs.
Lowry said the girl was talking to him at first, then later lapsed out of consciousness.
Lowry is seen carrying Tatiana to the car just before 10 a.m. He stops at the front of the motel, goes in and spends several minutes paying for another night. He told police he did so because he thought he might get tied up at the hospital and their belongings would be tossed out.
He also went back to the motel room before finally heading for the emergency room. He said he did so because the manager told him to make sure nothing was on the bed.
At the emergency room, a doctor told of running as fast as he ever had with the baby after seeing her almost hopeless condition while in the back of Lowry's sedan.