Crime

Teenager And Aunt Charged In Death Of 4-Year-Old

| by Reve Fisher
Aleisha HarrisAleisha Harris

A Georgia teenager is accused of murdering her 4-year-brother by submerging him in a tub of scalding hot water.

In Clayton County, Georgia, a 15-year-old girl is facing murder charges after she allegedly put her 4-year-old brother, Jamal, into an excessively hot bathtub after the child urinated on himself. According to Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she reportedly struck him several times with a belt and held him in the 155-degree water as punishment.

The aunt of the children, Aleisha Harris, is also facing murder and first-degree child cruelty charges because she did not get medical care for Jamal for 24 hours. According to Clayton County Police Maj. Joseph Woodall, the family merely wrapped the child up in a blanket.

“She willfully and intentionally deprived a 4-year-old child,” said the judge, who ordered her to be held without bail on Feb. 24.

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Police responded to a call about a child who had problems breathing, and found Jamal with second- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body. The child also had brain swelling and an 80-degree core temperature. Jamal died 27 minutes after police arrived.

“This is one of the worst [cases] I’ve seen,” Woodall told WSB-TV. “They made no attempts for emergency medical attention for that child.”

Harris’ brother stated his sister did nothing wrong and was attending to Jamal’s wounds after she told the teenager to take him out of the water. She has been the primary caregiver for the past few months after their parents dropped them off and never returned. According to WSB-TV, she was only related to one of the four children.

“We don’t know if they have [health] insurance or not, so my sister was just taking care of him,” he said.

A neighbor, who loved playing with the 4-year-old, was heartbroken to hear the news.

“That’s unbelievable,” she said. “I mean, that was the cutest little boy you’d ever want to see.”

Sources: WSB-TV, Atlanta Journal-Constitution / Photo credit: WSB-TV

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