21-year-old Donald Justin Lee has been charged with felony murder for allegedly causing the death of his girlfriend’s 9-month-old baby.
Lee, of Morgan County, Georgia, had previously claimed that the child who was in his care had fallen off the couch, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was originally charged with cruelty to children. The charges were upgraded on Monday following his Saturday arrest.
Paramedics found the child in critical condition after Lee called 911 to tell them that the infant, Brantley Farmer, had stopped breathing.
Sheriff’s Capt. Christopher Bish told WSBTV that the gravity of the baby’s head injuries made investigators suspicious.
“Babies don’t usually fall off an 18-inch (high) couch and get these kind of injuries,” Bish said.
Brantley died the next day at the hospital.
“He died at 3:51 p.m. and his mom got to hold him and just cradled him the whole time,” said Brandon Hayes, the infant’s uncle. “Of course, she broke down when we told her, ‘He’s gone’ but (she had) considerable peace about her.”
Hayes said they are forgiving Lee, who is being held in jail without bond.
“The only things that was said among the family was how could anyone do this,” Hayes said. “We’ve been praying for Brantley that we can forgive this guy for what he has done because we don’t want that hate to harbor.”