In 2015, Katerra Lewis, then 26, thought it would be a good idea to leave her only child, 1-year-old Kelci Devine Lewis, with an 8-year-old babysitter while she and a friend went out for the evening last October in Birmingham, Alabama. The young mother’s decision proved deadly for baby Kelci, who was left with several other children. Reportedly, the 8-year-old caretaker, who should not have been left alone with the infant, claims Kelci started crying, so he beat her and put her back into her crib.
The next morning, the little one was found unresponsive. At the hospital, it was discovered that she died due to internal injuries and severe head trauma. Basically, she was beaten to death while her mother was out partying. While the boy was taken into custody on a murder warrant, prosecutors turned their attention to Lewis.
“This is by far one of the saddest cases that I’ve witnessed since I became a police officer,” said Birmingham Police Department spokesman Lieutenant Sean Edwards. “You have an adult mother who had the audacity to leave her one-year-old in the custody with several other children at the house and none of those kids were over the age of eight.”
Lewis was living in the home with the other mother and her five children until she could find Section 8 housing. Though Jefferson County District Judge Shelly Watkins was forced to dismiss the prosecutor’s reckless manslaughter charge against Lewis in January due to a lack in probable cause, prosecutors recently presented the case to a grand jury, who saw fit to indict Lewis.
The Jefferson County grand jury’s indictment accused Lewis of reckless behavior for leaving Kelci in the care of another child she knew to be dangerous, or under conditions where the girl wouldn’t be protected from abuse.
The unnamed boy’s murder charge is being handled confidentially in the juvenile court system.
What do you think of the charges Lewis is facing—is she responsible for Kelci’s death?