Our Blog

Young Mother And Boyfriend Charged With Homicide By Child Abuse

Young Mother And Boyfriend Charged With Homicide By Child Abuse

A 19-year-old Ridgeville woman and her boyfriend from Summerville have been charged with homicide by child abuse. Sadly, this is the second consecutive week that Charleston child injury lawyers have noted this type of cruel incident. Allegedly the woman struck her 16-month-old son because she thought the child was possessed, a more than strange assessment of her child. According to the Dorchester County Coroner’s Office, the impact from the strike caused serious head injuries. The child had been rushed to MUSC on January 6, 2011, and died two days later. Doctors called the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office because the injuries were consistent with child abuse.

The woman has been behind bars since January 14, 2011, when she was arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse. Last week, a grand jury returned a direct indictment for the mother’s 20-year-old boyfriend for the same charge. The boyfriend has been in jail since last Monday, when he turned himself in at the Dorchester County Detention Center.

Although the mother was the one to call 911 after hitting her son, a sheriff’s investigator, laying out the facts in last Wednesday’s bond hearing, disclosed that the mother admitted to smoking two bowls of marijuana between her first noticing the child’s serious injuries and the 911 call. This time span was more than two hours and by her waiting and smoking marijuana, “she failed to render aid in a timely manner,” the investigator said. Also noted by the detective, the medical examiner determined that the toddler’s fatal injuries were caused by a blow to the head and estimated the injury occured six hours before EMS was called.

The woman never denied having struck her child, she willfully told deputies of this instance of abuse, according to the affidavit in her arrest warrant. Her boyfriend was also forthright with deputies and gave several statements, admitting to consuming marijuana while in the house, and attesting that his girlfriend struck the child because she felt the child was possessed.

First Circuit Assistant Solicitor asked that bond be denied for the mother, claiming she was a fight risk, because after hearing of her son’s death she was planning to go to Florida to live with her mother. The woman’s attorney, of the Dorchester County Public Defender’s Office, made the argument that she was mourning her only child’s death and it was only natural that she would want to spend time with her mother.

South Carolina Code of Laws stipulates a person is guilty of homicide by child abuse if: (1) causes the death of a child under the age of eleven while committing child abuse or neglect, and the death occurs under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life; or (2) knowingly aids and abets another person to commit child abuse or neglect, and the child abuse or neglect results in the death of a child under the age of eleven.

Given the above information provided by the Post and Courier, and the applicable State Law, it can be said with some certainty that these two youngsters will be serving lengthy jail sentences for their harmful behavior and neglectful parenting.

The contents of this Web site are for informational purposes regarding legal issues in South Carolina and are not intended to convey detailed legal advice on specific issues. Transmission of the information contained in this site or any sites linked hereto is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Our attorneys practice law only in jurisdictions we are properly authorized to do so and do not seek to represent anyone in any jurisdiction where this site does not comply with applicable laws and bar rules. The lawyers of the law firm of Christmas Injury Lawyers are licensed to practice law in the State of South Carolina. Readers should not act upon the information contained in this site without first seeking the advice of an attorney licensed to practice in your area.

Attorneys principally practice in Mt. Pleasant office, but we will meet you at the time and office most convenient to you. We will also come to your hospital room or home upon request.

The information given above are examples of actual cases with actual clients our law firm has handled in the past. The reviews listed on our website are endorsements and/or testimonials from actual clients. Any results our law firm may achieve on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.