CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Despite the rainy weather, dozens of people gathered at the same hotel where a toddler was found to mourn the child’s life.
18-month-old Jaheim Richardson died at the hospital Tuesday. Police say they had been called to the Best Western hotel on East Woodlawn Road prior to the baby’s death.
Jaheim’s mother, 24-year-old Yasmine Richardson, has been charged with felony child abuse inflicting serious injury. The mother’s boyfriend, 23-year-old Daquan McFadden, has been charged with both murder and felony child abuse inflicting serious injury.
An arrest warrant, dated the week of July 23 through July 30, claims Richardson failed to provide medical care for her one-year-old son for a week while he suffered from burns to his buttocks and genital area. Richardson was ordered to 24 hours of house arrest at the time.
Several friends and family members gathered in the conference room of the Best Western Friday night. Many of the loved ones shed tears for the little boy who lost his life. However, the sadness quickly turned to anger as family members took turns speaking in front of the crowd.
“I’m so mad. I’m so pissed off because I had no clue that none of this was going on,” said one family member through tears.
Several of the loved ones wore shirts screen-printed with a picture of the little boy’s face. The words written on the back of the shirt read, ‘I am his voice. Justice for Jaheim’.
Several relatives expressed their anger at the justice system. They feel Jaheim’s grandfather should have had custody of the little boy.
“I can’t wait to go in front of the judge who gave him back because I want to know how you feel with a 1-year-old’s blood on your hands,” said Nora McMullen, Jaheim’s cousin.
The family members agreed that Jaheim is in a better place now, but some feel this all could have been prevented had the little boy been left in the custody of his grandfather.
“I want everybody to look at him. He was one year old, defenseless, and he had so many other people that really genuinely loved him,” said McMullen.
WBTV did speak to Yasmine Richardson’s mom who told us that Richardson loved her children and this was all an accident. She said the truth would come out during further investigation.
Police have not confirmed a cause of death yet.