The Columbus mother of a 1-year-old whose skull was “cracked like an egg” when he was life-flighted to an Atlanta hospital in 2012 will serve nine years in prison for her role in his abuse, authorities said Monday.
Meanwhile charges still are pending against the woman’s boyfriend, from whom she allegedly failed for months to protect her son and a daughter, investigators said.
Deseree Dionne Williamson, 28, has pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree cruelty to children and two of aggravated battery. Superior Court Judge William Rumer sentenced her to 20 years in prison with nine years to serve and the rest on probation.
Her son and daughter, now 2 and 4, are in foster care.
It was around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 — the day after the boy’s first birthday — that medics were called to check on an unconscious child in an apartment at 3320 Buena Vista Road.
They were rushing the boy to The Medical Center at 2:51 p.m. when they realized his injuries warranted a police probe. Patrol officers were sent to the Buena Vista Road apartment as detectives headed to the hospital.
Medical Center doctors had the boy flown to a Scottish Rite hospital in Atlanta, where emergency measures likely saved his life, investigators said.
Back in Columbus, police arrested Williamson and her boyfriend Devonte Qwendarius Tyner, now 22, who this past May was indicted on three counts of aggravated battery and four of first-degree cruelty to children.
The boy’s life-threatening injury prompted doctors to conduct a “skeletal survey” of his older sister, revealing she had an untreated fracture to her clavicle or collar bone, authorities said.
That discovery prompted a more thorough examination of the children’s medical records, revealing that on March 14, 2012, the infant boy had been treated for a left-elbow injury consistent with excessive force, as when a child is pulled hard or swung around by one arm, investigators said.
Authorities also learned that between Aug. 1 and Sept. 1, 2012, a grandmother called an ambulance because the little girl was limping and bruised, allegedly the result of a severe beating.
According to the couple’s indictment, the girl’s collar bone must have been broken sometime between Aug. 1 and Oct. 28, 2012, the latter the day her brother was rushed to Atlanta.
Assistant District Attorney Letitia Sikes, the prosecutor on the case, said it illustrates that under Georgia law, parents who know their children are being abused and fail to protect them can be charged as “parties to the crime” or accomplices, whether they otherwise participated in the abuse or not.