Mom, boyfriend charged in death of infant make court appearance - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Mom, boyfriend charged in death of infant make court appearance

Posted: Updated:
Jade Sheree Butler and Antonio Fernelle Cathey (Mecklenburg County Jail) Jade Sheree Butler and Antonio Fernelle Cathey (Mecklenburg County Jail)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The mother and boyfriend charged in the murder of a toddler appeared in a Mecklenburg County courtroom Tuesday. 

22-year-old Jade Sheree Butler and 21-year-old Antonio Fernelle Cathey did not say anything to the judge and barely looked at their families who came to show their support.

Butler's daughter was found unresponsive Friday. Detectives and the Medical Examiner's Office say 17-month-old Kyiemani Brewer was physically assaulted.

Butler's father told the judge they would hire an attorney to represent her. Cathey's mom cried throughout the hearing, as family members tried to comfort her.

Garmarie Bennett, Cathey's mother, told WBTV Butler and her son are innocent.  She said Kyiemani had a muscle and bone disorder which led to bruising and had been hospitalized in the past few months.

"I think she died from that illness," said Bennett. "My son just did the best for her...like that was his own blood daughter," she said.

WBTV asked DSS about a possible prior investigation, which Bennett said cleared the couple of abuse allegations. A representative from DSS would not confirm or deny that an investigation ever existed.

The Violent Criminal Apprehension Team located and arrested the couple on Saturday, authorities say.

The two are in custody at the Mecklenburg County Jail. 

Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow