Sonya Nerissa Perry, 30, faces child abuse, second-degree murder and endangering the welfare of a child charges.
According to court records, Perry and a witness said she was the sole caretaker of Stephon Marco McCoy Monday on Jan. 14 in an apartment at the Briarwood Complex in Grandview.
GRANDVIEW, MO (KCTV) -
A Grandview woman has been charged in the death of a 3-month-old boy in her care, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Sonya Nerissa Perry, 30, faces charges of second-degree murder, child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. She had no comment before her first court appearance on Wednesday.
Stephon Marco McCoy died nearly two weeks ago, but charges were just filed this week. The woman is accusing of beating the infant so badly that he suffered numerous injuries including a fractured skull.
The loss of their son has devastated his parents, Ashley Johnson and Sylvester McCoy. They are overwhelmed by grief.
"It hurts. I never thought that I would be burying my son this early," said Johnson. "I didn't want to see him suffer like that."
She said she had trusted Perry.
"People think you can trust, you can't," Johnson said. "She was like my sister . . . . This doesn't make any sense."
Johnson admitted that she knew Perry had a temper, but never thought she would hurt an innocent baby. She said Perry indicated the baby was fussy and she didn't know what happened.
"She had a temper but never toward my kids. Everybody has problems," Johnson said. "She never took it out on my kids. She watched them plenty of times."
Perry has two small children by Johnson's brother. She tried to convince Johnson's brother that she didn't have anything to do with the child's death, Johnson said.
"She never came to the hospital or anything. That let me know (she was) hiding something. Why not try to reach out? Why not say it was an accident?" Johnson said.
The baby was in the care of Perry and her boyfriend, the baby's uncle, for two days.
Grandview police were called to an apartment in the 6200 block of 126th Street on Jan. 14 after receiving a report of a child who had stopped breathing.
When officers arrived, they found Stephon lying on a living room chair and began chest compressions. Paramedics rushed to the scene to assist.
Stephon was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center, then transferred to Children's Mercy Hospital. His family took him off life support three days later.
A physician at Children's Mercy Hospital told police that the infant suffered multiple injuries including a subdural hematoma, extensive brain damage and bleeding within the skull, and bruising to his inner thigh, left cheek and right temple.
Doctors also said Stephon had retinal hemorrhages in both eyes which were stated to be "consistent with a shaking injury," court records state.
Perry told police that Stephon was her boyfriend's nephew and she had agreed to keep him for an overnight visit.
She said when she picked up the infant up from his father's home about 11 a.m. on Jan. 13 he was acting was fussy. She said he was in and out of sleep all day and continued to be fussy the following day.
She also believed that he also had a fever and had given him several baths. Perry told police that he would not drink from his bottle and did not need a diaper change for most of the day.
Perry told police that Stephon also shook violently, according to court records.
She said Stephon awoke at 11 a.m. on Jan 14 and was again acting fussy. He cried throughout the day and would not eat. Perry told investigators that Stephon also shook violently, according to court records.
However, her boyfriend told police that Stephon seemed to be acting fine and was a happy baby when they picked him up and seemed fine all day.
Court records state that Perry did not have a car to drive the boy home to his father. She could not use her cell phone until her boyfriend came home because she did not have any minutes on her phone.
Perry later admitted to police that she had put Stephon down hard on the couch.
She admitted that she had lightly shaken Stephon as she was asking him what was wrong with him.
Perry held both of her hands out in front of her for police and shook them in the air, acknowledging that she was frustrated with the baby, court records state.
Doctors estimated the injuries would have been caused on Jan. 14.
A judge set a bond of $200,000 for Perry, who was taken into custody Tuesday evening. If she is able to post 10 percent and bonds out of jail, she cannot have contact with anyone under 17 years old. Her next court date is Feb. 13.
Perry has three prior misdemeanor convictions including third-degree assault in 2001 and 2005 and resisting arrest in 2006.
While the baby's mother is relieved by the arrest, it doesn't fill the void in her life.
"It doesn't bring him back. It doesn't stop me from missing him or looking for him," Johnson said. "No matter how many years she gets, she is still breathing. And I have to go to the grave site to talk to my son and tell (his siblings) he's not coming back."
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