Gwinnett detective: baby was “a skeleton” in murder by starvation case

Channel 2's Jade Hernandez reports

Calvin and Najlaa Mcintosh stand out in the murder and child-abuse chronicles of Gwinnett County: they’re accused of murdering a baby by starvation in a bizarre case of incestuous relationships in which police say food became a reward.

In this case, Najlaa is both a victim and a defendant: Calvin is her father and the father of her children. She is pregnant with his child, has bore him two others and told a detective he forced her to copulate with him twice weekly, according to testimony Friday in Gwinnett magistrate court.

Magistrate Kristina Hammer Blum transferred the case to Superior Court on charges of murder, incest and child abuse. A Superior Court judge would have to determine bond, she said.

Both are accused of starving Calvin’s daughter — 15-month-old Alcenti — to death, cruelty to three other children — all had rickets and trouble walking according to testimony —and mistreating Alcenti’s 21-year-old mother, Iasia Sweeting, who weighed 59 pounds when police found her wrapped in a blanket on the floor of the extended-stay motel in Peachtree Corners where they lived.

According to the testimony about the three other children Calvin allegedly fathered through Najlaa and Sweeting : a 6-year-old child weighed 29.7 pounds, the size of a 2-year-old; a 3-year-old boy weighed 19 pounds, the size of a 7-month-old; and another 3-year-old girl weighed 18.7 pounds, the size of a 9-month-old girl.

Alcenti weighed 7.5 pounds — 1.5 pounds more than the day she was born. She never developed a thymus, which helps ward off illness, which the medical examiner blamed on the malnourishment.

“Calvin ordered Najlaa to deprive the children and Iasia of food if they are disobedient,” Cpl. Ed. Ritter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an email.

The case was uncovered when Calvin Mcintosh took Alcenti to a Sandy Springs hospital in November and put her on a counter, telling the staff that she was having trouble breathing, Gwinnett Det. James Sweeney testified Friday.

“The nurse described the baby as looking, appearing, like a skeleton,” Sweeney said. “This was a prolonged situation of being malnourished and starved.”

Hospital staff reported the suspected child abuse. Mcintosh left the hospital but police found him the next day by tracing his cellphone signal, Sweeney said.

News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB radio reporter Sandra Parrish and AJC photographer Kent D. Johnson contributed to this report