Georgia baby taken off life support, parents facing charges

July 14, 2016 - Atlanta - Paige Cason-Barrett, Dinah’s maternal grandmother, spends a moment with Dinah at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston before the baby was taken off life support Monday afternoon. CRAIG SCHNEIDER / Craig.Schneider@ajc.com
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July 14, 2016 - Atlanta - Paige Cason-Barrett, Dinah’s maternal grandmother, spends a moment with Dinah at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston before the baby was taken off life support Monday afternoon. CRAIG SCHNEIDER / Craig.Schneider@ajc.com

Baby Dinah is gone. The badly abused girl was removed from life support Monday afternoon after her incarcerated parents were scheduled to say goodbye.

The process started at 12:06 p.m., according to a Walton County court official, and Dinah Paige Whited died at 3:31 p.m. with her parents present.

“I’m glad she is not suffering anymore,” said Jessica Van Hall, who was the court-appointed attorney for the baby. “It’s a sad case all around. And I just really wish my job of representing children who are not being taken care of properly or who have been mistreated didn’t have to exist in society. But unfortunately it does.”

Justin Whited has been charged with assaulting his daughter so badly she suffered bleeding on the brain, two broken collar bones and breaks in every rib but three. The charges against him could escalate to murder now that his daughter is dead. A prosecutor in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit for Walton and Newton Counties could not be reached for comment Monday.

Van Hall said she had no opinion on the matter but said she hopes “justice is served and that whatever case the DA is able to make goes forward.”

July 14, 2016 - Atlanta - Dinah Paige Whited died Monday after she was taken off life support. FAMILY PHOTO
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July 14, 2016 - Atlanta - Dinah Paige Whited died Monday after she was taken off life support. FAMILY PHOTO

Kimberlee Page, Dinah’s paternal grandmother, declined to comment on the charges her son is facing. Her voice choked with emotion, she said the baby appeared to be at peace as she passed away.

“I’m happy that Dinah is finally at peace and in Heaven,” she said. “She looked comforted like she was being held by the Lord.”

ExploreDinah’s mother, Jamie Cason Whited, has been charged with child cruelty, asserting she failed to protect her child.

Johnny Barrett, Dinah’s maternal grandfather, said both sets of grandparents were given 15 minutes each to spend time with Dinah. Meanwhile, Dinah’s parents were each separately allowed to spend 30 minutes with the baby before she was taken off life support.

“It’s very sad. We’re so glad that she’s not like what she was, with the suffering,” Barrett said. “We’re glad she’s moved on. We’ll miss her to death. You should never have to bury your grandchild.”

Barrett and his wife plan to seek custody of Dinah’s 2-year-old brother, who is currently in foster care.

August 3, 2016 - Monroe, GA - Justin Whited watches a video showing the condition and care of his daughter. He had not seen her since she was taken to the hospital. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
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August 3, 2016 - Monroe, GA - Justin Whited watches a video showing the condition and care of his daughter. He had not seen her since she was taken to the hospital. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

“We’ve lost one grandchild today, one precious soul,” he said. “Now, we’re on to the next journey with DFCS.”

The baby had been on life support for three months at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. After both parents agreed to terminate life support, Walton County Juvenile Court Judge David Dickinson issued the order to remove “all life support measures, and to allow Dinah Paige Whited to die.”

Justin Whited initially objected to allowing the removal procedure. But at a dramatic court hearing Wednesday, he wept while watching a video of the child motionless in her tiny hospital bed, and he changed his mind after a short meeting with his wife.

The judge’s order noted that Dinah was admitted to Egleston on April 23, and she exhibited “catastrophic brain injuries and multiple broken bones.” Medical testimony during the hearing indicated she had no chance of recovery.

“In short,” the judge’s order said, “the injuries are the result of physical abuse being committed against the child.”

August 3, 2016 - Monroe, GA - Jamie Cason Whited enters court at the start of a hearing. The parents of a badly-abused infant agreed on Wednesday to remove her from life support, a decision that could mean the charges against the baby’s father escalate to murder. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
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August 3, 2016 - Monroe, GA - Jamie Cason Whited enters court at the start of a hearing. The parents of a badly-abused infant agreed on Wednesday to remove her from life support, a decision that could mean the charges against the baby’s father escalate to murder. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres