DELAWARE — A man and woman have pled guilty to Murder by Abuse or Neglect First Degree in the 2018 beating death of 15-month-old Chosen Smith. Deputy Attorneys General Jim Kriner and Diana Dunn secured the pleas from Tameke Wright, 23 and Lavar Harris, 38, in Superior Court.
The couple were babysitting the child in February 2018 when they drove the child to the hospital and reported that he had fallen off a futon. The child died minutes after arriving at the hospital. Upon examination, it was discovered that the child had abrasions and bruises all over his body as well as abusive head injuries, including a fractured skull.
Wright reportedly told cops she witnessed Harris pick up the child by one arm on Valentine’s Day and strike him in the chest as he yelled: ‘Shut up. Shut up. You’re not going to sleep.’
According to the DailyMail, Wright ‘instructed Harris to hit the boy in the back of the head after Harris had told her Chosen no longer cried when struck.’
The Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide as a result of blunt force trauma. Detective Devon Jones of the Wilmington Police Department arrested Wright and Harris the following week. Both defendants face a sentence of 15 years to life in prison when sentenced in June. DOJ paralegal Jayna Quillen and victim services specialist Bettina Jones also participated in the prosecution.