A Georgia mother and her boyfriend are facing criminal charges after the woman's baby died from apparent child abuse.
Authorities said 8-month-old Kamonie Love Whitehead died on Aug. 13 after the baby’s mother, Shavone Whitehead, and her boyfriend, Edward F. Wilson, beat her, WSB-TV reported.
Police were called to a Microtel motel in Brookhaven on Aug. 12 after Wilson called and said Kamonie was having trouble breathing.
“We have an 8-month-old that, she made a loud gurgling noise and then when we went to check on her she's not responsive,” Wilson told the 911 operator. “She doesn’t appear to be breathing. Her mother's doing CPR."
A woman sobbing and sniffling could be heard in the background during the 911 call.
Kamonie was taken to a hospital and was unable to breathe on her own. She was put on a ventilator, but later died.
Kamonie had injuries on her legs, chin, arms and buttocks, according to court records. She also had multiple rib fractures and a possible skull fracture.
Whitehead admitted to using a belt occasionally to discipline the child, according to a legal document.
Kamonie’s father, Demarrio McCoy, was devastated by the news that his daughter was in hospital.
“I want her to be able to do things like any other parent would,” McCoy told WSB-TV before the baby died. “You wanna see your kid grow. I have all my wants, but I don't know God's will. I don't know God's will. I’m here, I believe and I trust in God for everything. I just want everybody to pray with me.”
“The detective handling this case has been in law enforcement 24 years and he has said this is probably one of the worst incidents of child abuse or child cruelty that he has seen,” Officer Carlos Nino said.
McCoy said he just wants justice.
“If God so decides to take my baby I have to respect him, you know,” he added. “I won’t show any resentment, or any hate.”
Whitehead and Wilson were initially charged with cruelty to children and aggravated battery. At first, Whitehead denied beating her baby, but later said she beat the child on the legs and buttocks as punishment, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
Police are awaiting autopsy results before deciding on whether to upgrade or add charges.