Court documents detail Albert Lea toddler death investigation, history of domestic assaults

(ABC 6 News) – Court documents reveal new details in the death of two-year-old Ahziyas Dampha, as well as a lengthy history of domestic assault convictions for suspect Austin Michael Navarro.

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Navarro, 25, was arraigned in Freeborn County District Court Friday afternoon and was charged with second-degree murder and felony child endangerment.

The judge set bail at $1,000,000 without conditions, and $500,000 with conditions.

Navarro remained in Freeborn County Jail Monday morning, July 10.

According to court documents filed Friday, the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office received two 9-1-1 calls in quick succession before noon July 6.

One call was from Emma Sullivan, Ahziyas’ mother, reporting that the child was unresponsive.

RELATED: Family of deceased toddler speaks on grief – ABC 6 News –

The other call reported yelling from the residence on James Avenue, Albert Lea.

Albert Lea police learned at the scene that Navarro had been left in charge of Ahziyas and a 12-week-old baby while Emma Sullivan was at work.

According to court documents, Navarro began texting Sullivan around 10 a.m., saying Ahziyas had fallen down the stairs.

When Sullivan requested photos, Navarro allegedly texted back that he didn’t even want to show her the child’s condition, saying it looked “like he … got beat up.”

Navarro sent a photo of Ahziyas with severe bruising, appearing unresponsive, shortly before noon.

When Sullivan arrived home, she told police she had to force the door open, as a knife had been jammed into the door “in an apparent attempt to prevent it from opening.”

According to court records, she found Navarro “locked behind a bedroom door with their baby and her child.”

She called 9-1-1, and Navarro allegedly left the scene with the infant.

Ahziyas was taken to the emergency room, then pronounced dead just before 1 p.m., after “extensive life-saving efforts” did not succeed.

Law enforcement noted severe bruises along Ahziyas’ jaw and chin, multiple bruises on his torso, and additional bruising on his nose and forehead.

According to court documents, police pursued Navarro after he left the scene and made a traffic stop about nine blocks away.

Navarro allegedly told police he left the scene because he was scared.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Friday, July 7, that Ahziyas’ cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries, and ruled the death a homicide.

Navarro was previously convicted of 3rd-degree assault of a person living in his residence in 2019, after kicking a woman, fracturing ribs and causing internal bleeding, according to St. Paul court records.

Navarro was originally put on probation, then sentenced to one year and one day in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud.

He was convicted of another domestic assault in 2019, after punching a different woman in the face and head, causing multiple injuries, according to St. Paul court records.

Navarro received a sentence of 90 days in Ramsey County Jail, with credit for 90 days already served.

In 2021, Navarro was accused of domestic assault and damage to property after allegedly smashing a woman’s windshield with a metal chair in St. Paul.

Navarro pleaded guilty to domestic assault, and was sentenced in 2022 to four years of probation, with a possibility of being re-sentenced to 21 months in prison if he broke probation.

Navarro was accused of breaking probation shortly after sentencing.

In June of 2022, Navarro was accused of possessing and pointing a gun at people during a fight in Dakota County. His next court appearance in Dakota County is scheduled for August.

Navarro was re-arrested after the alleged gun incident, but released after promising once again to appear for scheduled appointments and refrain from illegal activities.

Navarro’s next Freeborn County Court appearance is scheduled for July 20.