Couple faces murder charges in 8-month-old baby’s death

The bruises on 8-month-old Kamonie Whitehead's legs and buttocks were the first things officers noticed when they arrived to a hotel to respond to a call about an infant not breathing.

Unresponsive, Kamonie was lying in the middle of the filthy Brookhaven, Georgia, hotel room. Her arms spread out to her sides and her eyes still open. She was surrounded by clothing and trash in the room.

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Officers on the scene pumped what little life they could into the infant, before rushing her to the hospital Aug. 1.

Two weeks later, Kamonie died from injuries sustained in a beating that police say her mother Shavone Whitehead and boyfriend Edward Wilson inflicted on her. The two are now facing felony murder charges – in addition to aggravated battery and cruelty to children – after the DeKalb Medical Examiner's office ruled Kamonie's death a homicide from traumatic brain injury, according to warrants issued in the couple's arrest.

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According to the initial police report, Wilson heard a gurgling noise from Kamonie, looked inside her mouth and saw what looked like white mucus in her throat. He used a rubber suction-bulb syringe to suck it out of her throat. Then he noticed the baby wasn’t breathing and called 911, according to the report.

He then placed her on a counter and told the 911 operator that Whitehead was doing CPR on the child.

When officers finally arrived in the room, they found a mess, according to the report. Clothes were thrown about, trash was on the floor and two dogs were running around the room. The beds were filled with trash as well.

"I noticed discoloration in the infant’s face on the right side near (her) cheek," Brookhaven Police Officer I. Bryant wrote in his report. "I also observed the baby’s eyes were swollen."

Officers’ noted Kamonie had no pulse and performed CPR. She also had injuries to her chin and arms and was rushed to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston Hospital. She had broken ribs, which were in the process of healing, and sustained a hemorrhage and a possible skull fracture, according to reports.

Kamonie died from her injuries Aug. 13, but murder charges against her mother and the boyfriend weren’t added until after the autopsy was complete.

Whitehead initially denied accusations that she had beaten her daughter, but later admitted to hitting the baby on the legs and behind with a belt to punish her. The couple has been in the DeKalb County Jail since Aug. 2. They have a probable cause hearing Sept. 15.