Black mom sentenced in starvation death of 7-week-old son

The mother had food and money to feed the infant
Black mom sentenced in starvation death of 7-week-old son
Image source: Macomb County Sheriff’s Office

In September 2022, a Detroit mom was found guilty of second-degree murder in the starvation death of her 7-week-old son, even though the mother had food. On Nov. 23, Hayden was sentenced to 27.5 to 50 years in prison.

On Oct. 11, 2020, 29-year-old Shantavia Carolyn-Lalita Hayden brought her son, A’Mir Griffin, to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Authorities said the infant showed signs of rigor mortis and died of being severely malnourished.


An emergency room physician tried to save the boy’s life, but he had been dead for several hours before he was brought to the hospital.

Investigators said lack of money or no food was not the reason for Griffin’s death. Hayden had received 16 cans of food from WIC while A’Mir was alive, including seven days before he died. She received $15,000 in jobless benefits in four months, food stamps, and also cash assistance from the state.


During a two-week trial in September, the medical examiner testified that A’Mir had not been fed for at least seven days.

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