Charges against a Mississippi mother have been upgraded to capital murder after she allegedly slammed her 8-week-old daughter repeatedly on a road in Pearl last week.
What are the details?
Police said they received several 911 calls around 2 p.m. Thursday saying a woman had repeatedly and forcibly thrown a baby on the road in the 700 block of North Bierdeman Road. Arriving officers found another woman holding a severely injured child, after which emergency services began first aid.
Police said the infant’s mother — 20-year-old Makaylia Shaylynn Jolley — ran to a nearby wooded area but was soon taken into custody and charged with attempted murder and felony child abuse.
The infant was taken to Children’s Hospital of Mississippi in Jackson and listed in critical condition there, police said.
During a Friday news conference about the incident, Pearl Police Chief Dean Scott said the infant was still alive but unresponsive and on a ventilator, WTVJ-TV reported.
The infant — Khalysie Lashay Jolley — died Saturday afternoon, police said in a Facebook update, adding that charges against the mother would be upgraded to capital murder along with felony child abuse.
Jolley’s initial appearance in Pearl Municipal Court was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, police added.
Scott said Jolley’s actions were “deliberate and intentional” and that she has shown no remorse, WTVJ reported.
A neighbor who didn’t want to be identified told WAPT Jolley was a good mother: “I don’t understand. Something had to go wrong. Postpartum or something. Because she really is a very good mother. I don’t understand what happened.”
Scott also said narcotics and patrol officers “are very familiar” with Jolley, WAPT reported.
Grief and compassion
The Pearl community held a balloon release and candlelight vigil Monday for Khalysie.
Kayla Moore — a cousin of the accused mother — said said there should be no rush to judgment, WAPT reported in a separate story.
“What the public needs to know is this is a mother that truly loved her kids … this is a mental thing, this is a spiritual thing, and it needs to be recognized before they throw the hammer down on her,” Moore said, according to WAPT.
Jolley’s great-aunt told WTVJ in a follow-up story that Jolley called her about an hour before the incident and asked her to come over and pray, but the great-aunt couldn’t because she was watching her grandchild.
“I should have been there,” the great-aunt told WTVJ. “I started blaming myself.”
Jolley also has a son, and police added to WTVJ that he’s in the custody of his grandmother.
“We’re all emotional. This is not real. Our 20-year-old baby cousin is going to spend a long time in prison if not life if they don’t get her the right kind of help,” Moore said, according to WTVJ. “She didn’t have all this psychotic stuff that people were making up about her, and she was remorseful … ”
Pearl baby killed vigil