Boyfriend charged in death of infant boy|[02/09/08]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 9, 2008

A 4 1/2-month-old baby is dead and police have arrested the mother’s boyfriend, charging him with shaking the child to death.

Matthew L. Parker was the child of 29-year-old Matthew Nash, who was indicted last week by the Warren County Grand Jury in a June 2007 murder. The mother is Felicia M. Parker.

Her boyfriend, Keiwana Hoza Jones, 25, is charged with the infant’s death.

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“I’m just in shock, total shock,” said Felicia Parker, 26. “I keep thinking this is all just a dream, that it’s not true.”

Parker has two other children, ages 8 and 6.

The baby was pronounced dead at 11:27 p.m. Wednesday at River Region Medical Center, Vicksburg Police Lt. Bobby Stewart said. About an hour earlier, emergency units were called to 1312 China St., Apt. A, where the boy lived with his mother and her boyfriend. Emergency workers found the child not breathing and unresponsive.

Jones was charged in the death on Friday, following an investigation and autopsy. Stewart said Jones came voluntarily to the police station, where he was arrested at 6:41 p.m.

Jones was in the Issaquena County Jail, without bond, pending an arraignment Monday afternoon. He was on probation for a felony conviction, Stewart said, but did not give details.

If a grand jury decides the homicide was committed in the act of another felony, Jones could be indicted on a capital murder charge. If convicted on that charge, Jones could face life without parole or the death penalty. The next Warren County Grand Jury convenes in May.

According to Stewart, neither the child’s mother nor Jones gave consistent stories when being questioned about the death. Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey said the infant had no visible injuries at the time of his death, but an autopsy performed at the Mississippi Crime Lab in Jackson showed the cause of death was Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The baby’s father, Nash, faces charges of murder, shooting into an occupied dwelling, two counts of aggravated assault and felony possession of a weapon — all in the death of Justin Maurice Harris on June 17. The shooting occurred about 3 a.m. at 1224 Grammar St., following an argument at a now-defunct downtown nightclub.

Nash’s co-defendants in the homicide are his brothers, Alonzo, Armond and Anthony Trevillion, along with Rufus Armstrong.

Parker said she, on Thursday, told Nash about his son’s death. Nash has been jailed since June. The funeral was Friday, and Parker said Nash was unable to attend.

Neither Stewart nor Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace could recall any other Shaken Baby Syndrome deaths.