A Smithville mother and her boyfriend were indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury today (Tuesday) in the death of the woman's 22 month old son over the weekend.
Cody Key is charged in the indictment with first degree felony murder while the child's mother is indicted on a charge of aggravated child neglect.
"The child suffered great injuries and as a result the child died," said District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway in an interview with WGNS partner station WJLE Tuesday morning.
According to D.A. Dunaway, the child was brought to the hospital by the couple Sunday morning but he was already deceased. The youngster was found to have internal and other physical injuries to his body. Key is alleged to have inflicted the injuries. May is accused of having known the abuse had been taking place.
"At approximately 3:11 am Sunday Smithville Police Sergeant Travis Bryant and Officer Joey Myers were dispatched to the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital in reference to a possible child abuse resulting in the death of a two year old child. Investigating officers deemed the death to be of a suspicious nature," said Captain Steven Leffew. " I was notified along with Lieutenant Matt Holmes and Detective Brandon Donnell . Additionally District Attorney Bryant Dunaway and investigators from the District Attorney's office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation responded," he said.
The case remains under investigation by the Smithville Police Department , the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the District Attorney General's Office.
"We presented the case to the DeKalb County Grand Jury (Tuesday, May 19) related to the death of a 22 month old male child," said D.A. Dunaway. " Over the weekend the child was brought to DeKalb Community Hospital by the child's mother and her boyfriend. The child was deceased at the time of arrival. We believe the child was killed by the boyfriend late Saturday night or early Sunday morning in their home where they resided together. We believe the child died based upon physical injuries to the body and internally which were inflicted by the boyfriend," he said.
The DeKalb County Grand Jury issued true bills today (Tuesday) indicting both Cody Key with first degree felony murder. The mother of the child Jessica May has been indicted for aggravated child neglect based upon a pattern of abuse and neglect over a period of time. We believe that the allegations of continuous abuse and neglect of the child over a period of approximately one year was known by the mother and that she either participated in or allowed the events to happen," said D.A. Dunaway.
"We take these matters very seriously. The abuse and neglect of a child is very serious. It's one of the most horrendous types of crimes that one can imagine," he said.
"This is truly a tragic event. I pledge absolute commitment from the Smithville Police Department in the continued pursuit of justice in this case. Our prayers for strength and heartfelt condolences go out to the family," added Captain Leffew.
Partner Station WJLE