Two sisters are being held in police custody in connection with the death of a 3-year-old boy in Atlanta, with a report saying they attacked the child after he took a cupcake from the kitchen. They are scheduled to go on trial this week, reported a local news outlet.
Glenndria Morris, the boy’s guardian, told police that Kejuan Mason choked on a cupcake, 11Alive reported, but a police report in the case said Morris later changed her account of what happened. She said that when it was removed, he seemed fine and went to sleep. When they checked on him later, he was unresponsive and they called 911.
But paramedics told police it appeared the child hadn’t been breathing for some time before they arrived. He was pronounced dead at the Atlanta Medical Center.
According to 11Alive on Dec. 30, the trial for Morris and her sister, LaShirley Morris, is slated for Jan. 3, 2019.
— 11Alive News (@11AliveNews) June 20, 2018
Police said Glenndria spanked Kejuan while LaShirley beat the child with a baseball bat, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the boy died from blunt-force trauma rather than choking, 11Alive reported.
Police have alleged that the assault took place after Kejuan sneaked in and ate a cupcake in the kitchen, said Fulton County district attorney spokesman Dexter Bond in the Journal-Constitution report.
The two sisters were charged with murder and were arrested in October 2017.
Kejuan had bruises all over his body, including his legs, back, chest, arm, and head, said Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.
Police told 11Alive that there were three adults in the home when the child was assaulted. Four other children were also in the home, including Kejuan’s brother. The biological parents weren’t there at the time.
Kejuan’s mother, Geraldine Mason, asked a judge to remove the boy from Morris’s guardianship after she saw bruises and scratches, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“I told DFCS. I told the juvenile system, the court. I told everybody,” Mason said. “I said, ‘I think y’all need to do something because someone’s beating on my children.’ They did not listen to me. Not one time. They did not listen to me.”
Mason also told Fox5 that Morris was a “friend” who knew the children for a while, adding that she lost custody of her children after she no longer had a place to live.
“I’m still grieving, I’m mad, I’m upset, and I’m angry, but I have to have peace for my other grand-babies that need me,” Kejuan’s grandmother Xavier Upshaw told Fox 5 in another report. “We want justice, we’re not going to go to sleep on this.”
“She told me out of her mouth before I got the autopsy back that he had been beaten about the cupcake,” the grandmother also said, 11Alive reported.
Neighbors told 11Alive that they were stunned by the development. “It’s sad because kids are our future,” said Steve Chapman. “People here are shocked and overwhelmed.” Neighbors also want to know why children are being placed in homes that, police report, are roach-infested.
Other details about the case are not clear.