Charlotte parents sentenced to prison after imprint of hammer found in baby's skull

Charlotte parents sentenced to prison after imprint of hammer found in baby's skull
Basheba Freeman (Mecklenburg County Jail)
Basheba Freeman (Mecklenburg County Jail)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Parents accused of killing their baby last year pleaded guilty to charges in the case Thursday.

Taquan Beecham, the child's father, pleaded guilty to felony child abuse and Basheba Freeman, the child's mother, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Beecham will server between 51 and 74 months in prison, according to the plea deal. Freeman faces between 192 and 243 months in prison.

Officers were called to a home on Winter Elm Lane in April 2016. The caller said the child, Tayara Beecham, was in cardiac arrest. Baby Tayara was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. Her parents were charged in her death after detectives said the infant was physically assaulted.

The medical examiner said the 9-month-old baby died from abusive head trauma. Freeman told police she was the main caretaker of the baby.

Investigators found a hammer in the home, prosecutors said in court Thursday. The hammer matched the shape and size of a fracture in Taraya's skull, the Charlotte Observer reports. Her leg had been broken and partially healed at least twice, prosecutors said.

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Tayara's mother, Basheba Freeman was home when police and MEDIC arrived. An officer reported that the baby was "emaciated" and that there were no beds in the house, just a crib. A bottle of cleaning solution and a rag were found in the hallway, according to the affidavit.

The mother reportedly told the officer that she had fed the baby milk and part of a potato. She also said Tayara was crying for twenty minutes before passing out. She claims that happened four or five times that day.

Medical officials said Tayara had a deep cut under the right side of her nose that needed stitches. They also reportedly found a bruise on her stomach and upper torso, scabbing on the right side of her head, and an abrasion under her right ear. She was described as being extremely small for her age.

The baby's parents Basheba Freeman and Taquan Beecham were charged with homicide due to child abuse.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss charges of first-degree murder and first-degree child abuse causing bodily harm.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss the felony child abuse charge against Freeman and and reduce the first-degree murder charge to second-degree.

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