BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jah’miah Laqay Young, 19, was arrested yesterday and charged with child neglect with great bodily harm and failing to report suspected child abuse after officers determined she knew her 18-month-old was injured but told the man caring for her son that he shouldn’t take him to the hospital because they would call the police.
Justin Shavers, 19, was arrested yesterday after he took the child to the hospital; Shavers is reportedly unrelated to the child but was watching him while the mother was away. Shavers reportedly detailed five separate incidents in which he injured the child:
- He bit the child four times because the child punched him.
- He pinned the child down on the bed and burned his chest with a space heater because the child peed on the bed.
- He used a small thumb tack or push pin to stab the child’s feet because the child kicked him.
- He took a hot pan he had been cooking with and hit the child repeatedly with it because the child was misbehaving and screaming.
- He said the child fell off the bed and broke his arm; however, medical staff told law enforcement that in their opinion, the broken arm is an inflicted injury, not the result of a fall.
Young, the child’s mother, was interviewed on January 4; a Gainesville Police Department officer reported that she initially said Shavers told her on January 1 or 2 that the child had sustained a minor burn from another child. Young reportedly said she had no knowledge of the extent of her child’s injuries, but she told Shavers to take him to the hospital to treat the burn.
However, officers who were investigating the incident found text messages on Shavers’ phone showing that he sent Young several photographs of the injuries between December 30 and January 3. Post Miranda, Young reportedly acknowledged that she received those messages and that she knew the child had been burned on his stomach, arms, and legs and that he had been bitten several times.
According to the report, Young sent the following message to Shavers on January 2: “If I show anyone my child’s face then they gone wanna call the police & I don’t even have time bro…” On January 3, she reportedly wrote, “U can’t take him they call dcf…”
Post Miranda, Young reportedly admitted that she knew her child needed medical care but she told Shavers not to take him to the hospital because she was afraid of getting in trouble. Young also reportedly told the officer that she had been driving to Sarasota and back between December 30 and January 2 and was in town on January 3 but did not go see the child because she “had a lot going on.” She reportedly said that she called Shavers and told him to take the baby to the hospital after sending the texts, but Shavers reportedly denied this.
Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail at $200,000.
Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.