CINCINNATI (TCD) -- Two 19-year-old parents face a maximum life sentence in connection with the death of their 5-month-old infant and the abuse of their 2-year-old toddler.
According to a news release from the Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, on Dec. 22, 2021, Cincinnati Police responded to a 911 call regarding a domestic violence incident. At the scene, officers reportedly located Donte Farrier and Shakayla Sams' unresponsive 5-month-old child, Casey Sams. Casey was transported to the hospital, placed on life support, and later passed away on Dec. 27, 2021, the Attorney's Office says.
"Casey Sams' cause of death was determined to be traumatic brain injury," the Attorney's Office wrote. Additionally, Casey reportedly suffered a swollen brain, dislocated neck, and subdural hemorrhage along with rib fractures, bruising on the top of his scalp, and scarring on his leg.
Upon further investigation of the home, authorities reportedly located another child, 2-year-old Sir Major Sams. According to the Attorney's Office, the toddler appeared to be severely malnourished with signs of abuse. Sir Major was transported to a hospital and remains in the ICU. Along with signs of abuse, the Attorney's Office says Sir Major suffered a lacerated pancreas.
On Monday, Jan. 3, Farrier and Sams were indicted for two counts of murder, three counts of child endangering, and three counts of felonious assault. According to the Attorney's Office, Sams and Farrier face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of all charges.
In a statement, Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters said, "The cruelty displayed upon these two young children is impossible to comprehend. Being a young parent is no excuse for the kind of abuse these children suffered. This was not a case of neglect by parents too young to understand their responsibilities. This was a case of active violence, perpetrated on babies by two people."