VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - A jury found a Virginia Beach woman guilty in the abuse, neglect and murder of her 19-month-old child.
Macie Pridgen with the Virginia Beach Commonwealth's Attorney's Office told WAVY.com Shaniqua Jones, 22, was found guilty of second degree murder and child abuse and neglect.
Jurors recommended a 13-year prison sentence. She will formally be sentenced Aug. 14, 2013.
Her boyfriend, Alvin Gatewood, was sentenced to 40 years in prison on the same charges earlier this year.
On Nov. 28, 19-month-old Kimauri Williams was taken to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital by Jones. Kimauri was not breathing and taken to the hospital "casually" by Jones and Gatewood, according to Commonwealth's Attorney Harvey Bryant. The baby was covered in bruises and later pronounced dead.
"As I have to say too often, single mothers need to be very cautious about relying on the non-parent boyfriend to take care of their children," Bryant said. "Again and again, we have children abused and killed by the ‘boyfriend'. The police can't stop this. Only the mothers and society's condemnation can stop this particular horrible crime against innocent children."
Following an investigation, it was found Gatewood was largely responsible for the child's well-being during the days leading up to his death. Bryant said in the hours leading up to Kimauri's death, the child was vomiting, crying and could not stand up without help.
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