When the mother to Aaliyah Lewis, a two-year-old toddler, had to ask her boyfriend to babysit her because her father was unavailable, she never expected that it would end with her losing her daughter.
21-year-old Jamarius Devonti Graham was put in charge of Aaliyah while her mother was away. When the young toddler understandably had an accident and spoiled the bed, Graham snapped and spanked her twenty times before taking a plastic hanger and beating her with it until it broke.
Graham proceeded to assure Aaliyah’s mother, who remains unnamed, that he hadn’t struck her very hard. But her mother noticed wounds on her daughter’s body and that she was experiencing breathing difficulties. However, the fear of Aaliyah being taken away from her stopped her from immediately phoning for help.
It took 90 minutes before Aaliyah’s mother called for help, and by that time, it had been too long. Aaliyah was pronounced dead at UF Health Jacksonville shortly after her arrival.
She had suffered from multiple traumas to her head, torso, and limbs, and there was fluid in her lungs and brain that caused swelling. She was also covered in bruises and lacerations.
The cause of Aaliyah’s death has not been confirmed, although doctors speculate that the beatings made her body go into shock and need immediate medical treatment.
As a result, it is likely that she passed away due to a combination of the physical injuries from Graham and her mother’s subsequent neglect to get her to a hospital as soon as possible.
Graham has pled guilty for his crimes and faces a jail sentence of thirty years. He will go on trial in April.