North Carolina woman charged in death of her 2-year-old son

Published 12:05 pm Saturday, February 13, 2021

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A North Carolina woman is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old son more than three years ago, authorities said Friday.

The Burgaw Police Department said Quanisha Jesha Fennell, 35, also is charged with felony child abuse in the death of Keith Stephens Jr., news outlets reported. The toddler died on Dec. 11, 2017 and an autopsy revealed he died of blunt force trauma and a lacerated liver.

During Fennell’s first court appearance Friday, prosecutors said she admitted to getting angry and throwing her son. She was appointed an attorney and given a $750,000 bond, but the attorney couldn’t immediately be reached for comment because court was still in session.

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Burgaw police said officers spotted a man on Dec. 11, 2017 holding a small child in his arms traveling north. Officers performer CPR on the child and took him to Pender Memorial Hospital, where he died, according to a news release.

The medical examiner noted in his report that Stephens Jr. was found unresponsive on the floor by Fennell’s boyfriend.

Police said the investigation is still active.