The mother of an eight month old baby boy who died as the result of drinking a “dangerous liquid substance” believed to be acid water, has been formally charged with murder and sent to the Monrovia City Court for prosecution.
Defendant Decontee Garley was charged by the Liberia National Police (LNP) following days of intense investigation over the unexplained death of baby Devine Moore at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital.
The incident happened on December 21, 2016 at her Jallah Town residence in Sinkor, Monrovia, according to court records.
At Friday’s brief hearing, Magistrate Kennedy Peabody did not waste any time sending Decontee to prison because the crime of murder with which she has been charged does not entitle her to bail.
Decontee will remain in detention while awaiting her indictment and subsequent prosecution.
Mrs. Sienneh Juah, a social worker assigned at the JFK Medical Center where little Moore was treated before he was pronounced dead, alleged that the baby boy might have swallowed a “dangerous substance” leading to his death.
Police, however, alleged that when Decontee was investigated she explained that on Wednesday, December 21, she received L$20 from her mother Victoria Garley, which she used to buy a doughnut for her child.
Court records quoted Decontee as saying that after she bought the doughnut for the child, they proceeded to her bedroom to have him bathed.
Decontee is alleged to have left the child alone in her room and went to her mother’s (Victoria) room nearby, where she collected a small bottle containing a liquid substance believed to be acid water, which she gave her son to drink, according to court records.
After the infant drank the liquid substance, Decontee is alleged to have been so shocked by how profusely the child started to defecate and vomit that she immediately ran outside with the baby to her mother, Victoria, and her other sisters, who discovered that the child’s mouth was peeling.
The defendant claimed that she rushed baby Devine to a nearby clinic in Jallah Town, but nurses there referred her to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, where the boy was later pronounced dead.
A medical report on the incident established that little Devine Moore died of cardiopulmonary complication of Toxic Ingestion, for which police charged defendant Decontee with murder in violation of section 14.1 of the Penal Law of Liberia.