Baby born to murdered Charlotte teen dies - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Baby born to murdered Charlotte teen dies

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Hundreds gathered for a memorial service in honor of Tiffany Wright. Hundreds gathered for a memorial service in honor of Tiffany Wright.
Police cordon off the area where Tiffany Wright was shot Monday morning. Police cordon off the area where Tiffany Wright was shot Monday morning.
Neighbors were shocked to learn about the shooting Monday morning. Neighbors were shocked to learn about the shooting Monday morning.
Homicide detectives at the scene brief CMPD Chief of Police Rodney Monroe. Homicide detectives at the scene brief CMPD Chief of Police Rodney Monroe.
Investigators questioned people looking for information about the suspect. Investigators questioned people looking for information about the suspect.

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The baby of a 15-year-old teen who was murdered last week passed away this weekend nearly one week after her mother's tragic death.

Also, Monday WBTV learned that the suspect in the alleged rape of the murdered teen had been appointed the teen's temporary guardian by the courts earlier this year.

Tiffany Ranae Wright was shot and killed on Monday, Sept. 14., while waiting for her school bus along Mallard Park Drive in north Charlotte.  

Wright died at Carolinas Medical Center and doctors were able to deliver her unborn child.  The premature infant was about four weeks old when born, but died after nearly one week.

The baby, named Aaliyan Faye Wright, died Sunday morning.  A hospital spokesperson was unable to comment this weekend on the exact cause of death.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says detectives are consulting with the medical examiner and the district attorney to determine if the suspect in the case should be charged with the child's death. 

Tiffany Wright's funeral had been scheduled for Tuesday, but has been delayed. The Department of Social Services is now handling the arrangements, according to Stanley Mills with Grier Funeral services. 

Wright's adopted brother and temporary guardian, Royce Mitchell, 36, turned himself into police one week ago just hours after her death.  Police charged him for allegedly raping Wright earlier this year and they are still calling him a person of interest in connection with her murder. 

According to court documents obtained Monday by WBTV, Wright's adoptive mother, Alma Wright, died on January 25, 2009.  The courts gave Alma Wright's biological son, Royce Mitchell, temporary guardianship of Tiffany Wright.  She went to live with him and his wife, Andria.

The courts said Mitchell would remain Tiffany Wright's temporary guardian until home study could be conducted by the Department of Social Services to determine if he should have permanent custody. 

Last week, Tiffany Wright's paternal grandmother, Shirley Boston, publicly blamed the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for not protecting her granddaughter from Mitchell.

The CMPD said they had been investigating the rape allegation against him for nearly two months, but they did not file charges against him until after Wright's death due to a backlog of sexual assault cases.  He was charged with statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a child. Authorities also said they were looking into whether Mitchell was the father of Wright's baby. 

WBTV also spoke to a woman from Shelby,North Carolina who petitioned the court for custody of Wright.

"I wanted her to come and stay with me because I wanted to give her the tools she needed to be successful, her desire was to be an attorney," said Cruceta Jeffeirs. " I'm still not comprehending , grasping why would somebody want to harm her or hurt her, I don't get that."

Last week, the City of Charlotte released a statement concerning Mitchell's employment status.  He was hired as a member of the Charlotte Department of Transportation's street maintenance crew in 2007.  A spokeswoman for the city said Mitchell was terminated for "falsifying his employment application." 

Spokeswoman Kim McMillan said the city checked his records for criminal offenses at the local and state level.  Some of his federal records were reviewed but not all of them, she said.  

"To ensure a more comprehensive review of all applicants, the City will expand background checks to include a search of federal offenses throughout the country," McMillan said.  

On Tuesday, Mitchell appeared in court and he said nothing as the judge read the charges filed against him.  Mitchell appeared over closed-circuit TV and did not appear to show any emotion according to WBTV Reporter Dedrick Russell who was present in the courtroom. 

This isn't Mitchell's first encounter with the law.  According to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office, Andria Mitchell filed a domestic violence order of protection against him on May 6, 2008.  She alleges that he threw her out of their bed, punched her in the face leaving her with a black eye, bruised jaw bone and a headache.  In 2006, he was acquitted in a 1998 drug-related murder in Buffalo, New York.

Wright was an 11th grade student at Hawthorne High School which offers a variety of programs including one designed for students who are pregnant.  Additional counselors were at the school last week providing assistance to students and staff. 

The school held a joint memorial service on Thursday for her and Ja'ron McGill.  McGill died a few months ago in a separate and unrelated gun violence incident.  Following the service, students and staff went outside to release purple balloons in memory of the two students. 

If you have any information about this shooting, call 704-332-TIPS or call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. 

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