Neither grandmother of a Gwinnett County 10-year-old starved to death will be able to take home the girl’s younger siblings, according to reports.
But a Gwinnett County judge chastised one of the grandmothers, Pearlie Bashir, who is the mother of the stepmother of Emani Moss, for not acting to save Emani from alleged abuse that ultimately killed the child.
“It is unfathomable to the Court that Ms. Bashir could not have known that Emani M. was being abused and mistreated at some point between 2010 and October 2013,” Gwinnett Juvenile Court Judge Robert L. Waller said in an order file in December and obtained by Channel 2 Action News.
“At best, Ms. Bashir turned a blind eye to the suffering and, ultimately, to the death of a child who had been living in her home off and on for over three years.”
Tiffany Moss, Bashir’s daughter, and Emani’s father, Eman Moss, are facing the death penalty for allegedly fatally neglecting and starving the girl. Prosecutors said Eman and Tiffany Moss then tried to conceal the death by burning the girl’s body.
Officials with the state Division of Family and Children Services took custody of the surviving Moss children after police found Emani’s charred body in a garbage disposal in October and charged the parents with murder.
Waller acknowledged that while Eman Moss’ mother, Robin Moss, wasn’t currently fit to have custody of the children, he didn’t completely eliminate her hopes of being a custodian to Emani’s siblings.
“The paternal grandmother, Ms. Moss does not have stable employment or stable housing,” he wrote in his decision, noting that Robin Moss had reported concerns about Emani’s extreme weight loss, but was kept from the younger children.
“She has (through no fault of her own) no relationship with the children. While the court does not believe that she should be permanently ruled out as a custodian of the children, it would not be in the children’s best interest to be placed in her custody at present.”
Both grandmothers sought custody of the children after the parents were arrested and charged.
Relatives have said Robin Moss was very close to Emani.
Waller said Bashir should have had some idea what was going on with Emani through the last years of the girl’s life as the family endured Tiffany Moss’ arrest and probation for abusing Emani and family counseling … often in Bashir’s home.
“Ms. Bashir … saw Emani M. a few weeks before her death and looked the other way,” Waller wrote. “She cannot be depended upon to protect children living in her home.”
Bashir has appealed the decision, according to AM 750 and 95.5 FM WSB News/Talk Radio.
A court-appointed guardian has recommended that the two children be put up for adoption and state officials have petitioned to have parental rights removed from Tiffany and Eman Moss, according to court records.
The children will remain in the custody of DFCS officials.
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