A 23-year-old Mississippi woman is facing a murder charge following the death of a 2-year-old boy in her care.
According to the Alcorn County Sheriff’s Department, Makellie Durham is facing charges of capital murder as well as felony child abuse related to an alleged assault on an 11-month-old-girl.
Durham was babysitting the two children at a home in Corinth on Tuesday when, according to WMC, deputies and paramedics were called to a home after being informed that a 2-year-old boy had been found unresponsive.
The 11-month-old girl was also found injured at the property.
The sheriff’s department said that when first responders arrived, the boy was found with multiple bruises and marks. Investigators found the children had been in the care of a babysitter identified as Durham.
According to the authorities, the boy was taken to Magnolia Regional Hospital along with his sister; both children were subsequently taken to the Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis for further treatment.
The sheriff’s department said the boy died from his injuries two days later. His younger sister, meanwhile, remains in a stable condition.
The details of what led up to the child’s death and the younger girl’s injuries have not been made public.
Durham already had a misdemeanor warrant out of Corinth against her name at the time of her arrest, authorities said.
Newsweek has contacted the Alcorn County Sheriff’s Department for comment.
Capital murder is a felony punishable by death or life imprisonment in Mississippi, one of 27 U.S. states to have the death penalty.
If the case goes to trial, it could be divided into two parts. The first determines whether the defender is guilty or innocent.
If found guilty, then proceedings move on to a sentencing hearing.
At this hearing, the jury will be presented with any aggravating or mitigating factors to be considered before determining if the death penalty can be imposed.
If at least one aggravated circumstance is identified or not effectively countered by mitigating circumstances, the death penalty is not imposed.
If the jury is unable to reach a decision within a reasonable timeframe, they will be dismissed and the judge will impose a life sentence.
The additional charge of felony child abuse, meanwhile, carries with it a maximum 5-year prison sentence and up to $5,000 in fines.
Durham’s arrest comes days after a man in Georgia allegedly shot his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend during a custody exchange.
According to officials, it’s claimed Marquez Smith got into a confrontation during the exchange for his 15-year-old daughter at a house in Covington on Sunday evening.
Deputies told reporters that Smith’s daughter didn’t want to go with him and that he subsequently went into the house to get a gun.
He is alleged to have opened fire on his ex-wife and her boyfriend as they sat inside their vehicle. Both later died.