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Berkeley Co. grand jury indicts couple in death of 3-year-old boy

| May 25, 2012 at 08:36 am

Child abuseJames N. Mauldin and Jasmine K. Dawkins were indicted under different sections of state law for death of a child by parent, guardian and/or custodian by child abuse

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A couple charged in the New Year’s Day death of a 3-year-old boy were indicted Wednesday by a Berkeley County grand jury.

James N. Mauldin, 20, and Jasmine K. Dawkins, 23, were indicted under different sections of state law for death of a child by parent, guardian and/or custodian by child abuse, according to the indictment, which was released by Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely’s office.

Mauldin and Dawkins also were charged with two counts of gross child neglect creating substantial risk of serious bodily injury and one count of presentation of false information regarding a child’s injuries in the death of Kaiwon Connelly, according to the indictment.

Mauldin, who is the boy’s father, also was indicted on one count of child abuse causing serious bodily and malicious assault , according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges Dawkins knowingly allowed Mauldin to inflict injuries on the boy that led to the his death.

Both are accused of failing to seek medical care for burns on the child’s buttocks and legs and after knowing that Mauldin struck the boy in the head, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges the couple also falsely stated to authorities that Kaiwon fell and struck his head, causing the injuries in question.

Dawkins, whose address on her indictment was listed as 2749 Pinewood Drive in Waldorf, Md., is not the boy’s biological mother, authorities said.

Police have said Kaiwon had multiple head injuries, including a fractured skull and brain bleeds. Dawkins told police the injuries were the result of Mauldin punching the boy several times a few days before the boy was hospitalized.

The boy died at 10:55 a.m. on Jan. 1 at Children’s National Medical Center inWashington, D.C., police have said.

Dawkins told police she did not report Mauldin’s alleged mistreatment of his son because she was afraid of being abused herself and indicated she had been previously abused.

At the time of the boy’s death, the couple’s address was listed in court records as 214 Joshua Drive, Apt. 616, which is where police responded to investigate an “EMS assist-cardiac arrest” about 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

Dawkins told police that the boy was burned with skillets and pans that were heated and placed underneath the child to keep him from sitting on the floor. The boy was expected to remain in a squatted position while being disciplined, police have said.

The skillets and pans, along with two pair of children’s underwear, which police believe contained remnants of burned skin, were seized as part of the investigation, police have said.

Police were told that Kaiwon, who would have turned 4 on April 6, was eating eggs and was choking on them just before he collapsed.

Mauldin is being held at Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg.

Source: Herald Miami

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