Man accused in 4-year-old’s beating death joins boy’s mother in jail

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

A man accused of beating a 4-year-old boy to death was arrested Thursday in Atlanta, according to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

Javonte Harris, 27, was taken into custody without incident by the sheriff’s office’s fugitive unit. He is the second suspect charged with murder in connection with the boy’s death.

Last weekend, officers were called to a location off Candler Road, where they found the boy in critical condition, police said in a news release. Despite lifesaving efforts, the child died after being taken to the hospital.

Earlier this week, the boy was identified as Jessiah Sasfras by the DeKalb medical examiner. According to the sheriff’s office, Harris was the boy’s father.

Explore2 charged with murder, including mother, after child beaten to death in DeKalb

According to arrest warrants, Harris caused the death by “punching the child and causing other injuries.” The boy had been beaten in the face, the warrant states. Harris was charged with murder and cruelty to children in the first degree.

The child’s 25-year-old mother, Malisha Sasfras, was arrested and also charged with felony murder and cruelty to children, police said. She remained Friday in the DeKalb jail, booking records show.

Sasfras is accused of “being a party of the crime and allowing Mr. Javonte Harris to continue to abuse the child till death,” her arrest warrant states. She allegedly allowed Harris to abuse the child several times in the days leading up to his death, according to her warrant.

Court records show Malisha Sasfras lives in the Candler Forest apartment complex on Candler Road.

Tabetha Hammond told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she shares children with Harris and doesn’t believe he would hurt a child.

“I promise you, he’s not even like that,” Hammond said.

Hammond said Harris was recently bitten on his hands by a dog when he attempted to break up a fight with his own dog. Harris did not live with Sasfras, according to jail address records. Hammond said she doesn’t believe Harris was with the child when he was allegedly abused. She said she has also been in touch with investigators.