A Texas grand jury has returned a capital murder indictment against a man who beat his girlfriend’s infant son to death.
Joshua Deshaun Lowe, 28, has been arrested for allegedly killing his girlfriend’s 11 month old son, Javontae Neeley. Lowe has been charged with one count each of capital murder of a person under ten years of age, aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, and injuring a child with the intent to cause severe bodily injury. He has also been charged with injuring a child with the intent to cause severe bodily harm in a separate case for abusing Javontae’s 4 year old sister.
Christy Wedgeworth, 24, the boy’s mother, has also been charged with one count each of injuring a child by omission and injury to a child with serious bodily injury by omission, as prosecutors have alleged that she failed to protect her children from abuse that she was aware of that was taking place regularly.
Javontae was brought to St. Michael’s Hospital in Texarkana, Texas in a private vehicle, where Lowe told the doctors that the infant had choked on a hot dog.
Doctors were obviously skeptical, as none of his injuries — including severe trauma to the head and multiple broken bones in various stages of healing — were consistent with choking.
Police were called immediately after the doctors admitted Javontae. In an interview with investigators, Lowe began to change his story, telling them that he dropped the child after the infant threw up on him, and Javontae fell backwards, hitting his head on the table.
“Lowe used a doll to demonstrate how he dropped (Javontae). He dropped the doll from one or two feet in the air,” the affidavit states.
This story was also inconsistent with the child’s injuries, which “were at least seven to ten days older than the injury to the head,” the affidavit continues.
According to a report from TXK Today, a doctor from the nearby Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock told police that Javontae was suffering from injuries that included “abusive head trauma, subdural hemorrhage, cerebral edema, retinal hemorrhages, healing rib fractures (five separate ribs), and bruising, (facial scalp, ear, cheek, chest, back and extremity).”
The doctor also noted that the infant’s brain and eye bleeding was consistent with being shaken violently then thrown onto a hard surface.
Wedgeworth admitted to police that she has witnessed her boyfriend abuse both of her children on numerous occasions. According to the affidavit, she even told officers that Lowe had hit her son in the face “at least ten times” while wearing boxing gloves.
Lowe is being held on $7 million bond in the Bowie County Jail, and is facing death by lethal injection or life without parole if he is found guilty of capital murder.
Wedgeworth’s bond was set at $1 million, and she is also being held at Bowie County Jail. If she is convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.