Cherokee mother, boyfriend charged in child’s death

Cherokee mother, boyfriend charged in child’s death

A toddler died in October after being found unconscious at the foot of the basement stairs in a Cherokee County home.

The mother of 17-month-old Kaylee Rayne Johnson and the mother’s boyfriend were arrested Friday in connection with the toddler’s death, authorities said.

Jamie Beck, 23, and Michael Naples, 31, were both charged with felony murder and first-degree child cruelty.

Beck’s attorney, Anthony Perrotta, denied the allegations against his client.

“She has nothing to do with the death of her precious child,” Perrotta said Friday in an email. “She has cooperated fully with law enforcement at all times during this investigation and will continue to do so.”

On Oct. 14, Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 300 block of Red Bird Way near Woodstock on a report of an injured child.

Beck told deputies she awoke in the middle of the night to get some water and found the basement door open and little Kaylee lying at the bottom of the stairs, Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jay Baker said.

The girl was taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta where she died days later, authorities said.

In recent weeks, authorities with the GBI Crime Lab determined that Kaylee’s death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head, calling it a homicide, Baker said.

“It was determined that the injuries were not indicative of a child falling down stairs,” he said.

Both Beck, of Bartow County, and Naples, of Woodstock, are being held without bond at the Cherokee Adult Detention Center, authorities said.

Weather and Traffic