The city of Augusta, Georgia is grieving and seething in anger over the brutal beating death of an 18-month-old toddler at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend. According to police, last week Jamie Shelton Brown (no relation), 36, was babysitting his girlfriend’s toddler daughter, Karmen Tianna Lashay Brown, and two older siblings. When the mother, identified as Shakelia Brown, returned home from a job interview several hours later, she found Karmen unresponsive, bruised and beaten. The mother went from door to door asking for help and someone attempted CPR on the child to no avail. An ambulance soon arrived and transported the toddler to the hospital.
Police were called to the hospital because of the noticeable bruising on the child’s face and forehead. After interviewing the child’s mother and witnesses, police arrested Jamie Shelton Brown on charges of first degree cruelty to children and felony murder. The body of little girl was transported from Augusta to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations Crime Lab in Atlanta for an autopsy. It has been determined that the child suffered blunt force trauma to the head, a hematoma to the center of her forehead, multiple superficial wounds to her face, bruising to her eye orbits, abrasions to her nose, a superficial wound to her right knee, and a large abrasion to the left side of her forehead.
Neighbors have stated that they knew something was wrong in the household because of the way the child reacted around the boyfriend. According to one woman, “That baby screamed and hollered every time she just seen him she just screamed and hollered. So that should have told her something right there. That the baby is scared of him. He’s doing something to her.” Another neighbor who wanted remain anonymous stated “You could hear Karmen crying, crying, crying, crying and she says it’s been going on for about three days. He had been hitting that baby and all kinds of stuff.”
Despite this, it seems that the toddler’s mother failed to notice these warning signs of abuse and the criminal history of the boyfriend. According to police records, Brown has five previous criminal violations, charges for cocaine, disorderly conduct and simple battery. Brown had his first court appearance this past Tuesday.