DA: Mother didn’t protect toddler before abuse death
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A woman has been accused of knowingly failing to protect her 3-year-old son from the man who authorities say killed the boy last year.
Media outlets report 26-year-old Ayonjaleea Phillips was arrested Monday in Knoxville and charged with aggravated child endangerment.
Deputies say the charges stem from the investigation into the injury and death of the woman’s child, Ja’Kari Phillips, who was killed in November in Carter County. Authorities say the boy suffered from brain swelling, stomach injuries, and multiple bruises and scrapes.
The boy’s stepfather, 28-year-old Demetrius Covington, was captured in Ohio days after the death and charged with first-degree murder.
Authorities say Covington was taking care of the child on Nov. 18 while Phillips was at work. Covington said the boy was injured after falling in the bathtub.